Harlequins hammer hapless Gloucester
September 17, 2011
Harlequins' Chris Brooker slides over for his side's fifth try at the The Stoop
© Getty Images
Harlequins continued their winning start to the season with an impressive 42-6 victory over Gloucester at the Stoop.
In wet conditions Quins' dogged pack out-fought their opponents at the breakdown and in the set-piece, resulting in two pushover tries from the impressive young flanker Luke Wallace. Quins were also classier behind the scrum with fly-half Nick Evans a constant threat and the slick passing in the backline leading to tries for wingers Sam Smith and Ugo Monye.
For Monye it was his third in three games after being omitted from England's World Cup squad. Replacement hooker Chris Brooker rounded off an impressive showing with a fifth try as Quins claimed a third straight win of the season.
Gloucester put on early pressure, utilising the chip in behind on a slippery pitch, and it yielded the opening penalty from Freddie Burns in front of the posts. But it was opposite number Evans who created the first try-scoring opportunity with a delicate chip down the blindside which fullback Mike Brown hacked on but failed to collect a metre from the line.
Quins were taking control with the classy Evans orchestrating the attack and minutes later they had the lead. The former All Blacks playmaker went down the short-side and great soft hands from George Lowe put Brown in space and Smith finished off neat a move. Evans converted before adding a penalty to extend the Quins advantage.
Quins' pack were also in the ascendancy and in a show of faith Evans turned down a kickable penalty to go for the corner. The decision was vindicated as Quins eventually made their way over the line and flanker Wallace emerged as the try scorer.
With the clock ticking down to half-time Burns landed a long-range penalty to keep Gloucester in the hunt. But Evans immediately cancelled it out with a penalty of his own.
The Kiwi fly-half again took up his primary role of teasing Gloucester after the break and his dab through only just evaded the clutches of the charging Quins chasers under the posts.
Gloucester's cause was made more difficult ten minutes into the second half when openside Matt Cox was shown the yellow card for entering in the side of the ruck.
Although Evans missed with the resulting penalty, minutes later he ghosted through the Gloucester defence from off-the-top lineout ball and took Quins within ten metres of the try line. And quick ball allowed Quins to exploit the overlap on the right and Monye slid in at the corner. Evans added the extras.
Not to be outdone by the backs, Quins' pack again demonstrated their dominance over the Gloucester forwards with another push over try with Wallace again the man touching down. Evans was again accurate with the kick as was his replacement, Rory Clegg, with a penalty moments later.
Gloucester's poor afternoon was compounded with five minutes remaining when Brooker burst through the defence with utter ease to score a fifth try for Quins. Clegg added the conversion.
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