Friday, 14th November 2014 @ 22:30
Harlequins recorded their first Aviva Premiership victory at Kingsholm since February 1999 in heroic fashion thanks to a late Charlie Walker try.
In a thrilling encounter, Harlequins worked both an expansive and tight brand of rugby. The forward pack are beginning to develop into a formidable force and were responsible for two impressive tries, rumbling their way over from distance on both occasions; the Shed could only applaud.
When under the cosh with the narrowest of leads late in the second half, the defensive effort was heroic to ensure the landmark win.
This 15-22 victory sees Harlequins leapfrog Gloucester into fifth position in the Aviva Premiership, hosting Sale Sharks at The Stoop next week.
Gloucester began as the dominant side and raced into an early lead with two penalties from captain Billy Twelvetrees.
The fly-half was impressive early on and was at the heart of every attack, causing some early issues for the Harlequins defence.
After 20 minutes Twelvetrees sent a wide pass to the left wing which found Henry Purdy. Offloading to Rob Cook, the full-back was denied an impressive score by the defensive efforts on the line by George Lowe and Matt Hopper.
From the resulting scrum, Karl Dickson was too eager in tackling number 8 Ross Moriarty and Twelvetrees happily converted his third penalty.
Just two minutes passed before he was again lining up a penalty kick. Gloucester gathered the restart, worked up field and when Harlequins were caught offside, the English international increased the tally to 12 points.
With the half hour approaching the next score, for either side, would be critical. Thankfully for Harlequins, Walker darted down the right touchline to inspire a come-back.
The winger’s attack forced a Harlequins scrum five metres from the Gloucester line. The impressive Harlequins pack then played their part; first by winning a penalty and from the resulting lineout, mauled their way over the line. Captain Nick Easter emerged from the pile with the ball.
Nick Evans added to his conversion with a penalty in front of the posts bringing the half time score to 12-10 at the break.
Harlequins started the second half strongly; Evans made an early break which allowed Ollie Lindsay-Hague the opportunity to ask questions of the defence on the left wing.
While the footwork of Lindsay-Hague dazzled some, the second Harlequins try would have been much more appreciated by the rugby purists of Gloucester.
Finding touch 30 metres from the line from a penalty, Easter gathered lineout possession. Setting up a rolling maul, the pack heaved and worked up field in a controlled and patient manner. Wallace was the one who popped up from the pile on this occasion and Evans converted.
Twelvetrees lost form from the kicking tee in the second half and after missing two attempts, the duty was passed on to Aled Thomas. The replacement full-back could only add one further penalty, concluding the Gloucester points at 15.
The patient Harlequins defence worked tirelessly in the final moments and the efforts, particularly from Kyle Sinckler allowed Harlequins possession in the Gloucester half.
From a resulting scrum, the ball flew out the rear; gathering possession, Karl Dickson put in a pin point accurate grubber kick which sat up beautifully for Walker to cross the line.
Evans’ touchline conversion narrowly missed, which allowed Gloucester the losing bonus point at 15-22.