Harlequins hit Exiles for six
September 7, 2012
Quins hit Exiles for six%]
Defending champions Harlequins were ruthless against Premiership newboys London Welsh as they ran in six tries in a 40-3 victory at The Stoop on Friday night.
Second row George Robson opened the scoring when he crashed over on three minutes and wing Ugo Monye added two more before half-time. Robson added a second in the second half and there were also scores for George Lowe and Ben Botica. Fly-half Nick Evans added 10 points through conversions, while his opposite number Gordon Ross scored London Welsh's only points of the night with a penalty on 18 minutes.
London Welsh were forced to face Harlequins just five days after their top flight debut against Leicester Tigers and by the time they got close to the pace of the match Harlequins had surged into a 21-3 lead with two tries from Monye after Robson had crashed over early on.
Evans, the architect of Harlequins' 42-40 win over London Wasps at Twickenham on the opening weekend, chipped in behind the London Welsh defence for Lowe who slipped a pass to Jordan Turner-Hall. Mike Brown was screaming for the ball on the outside but Turner-Hall kept hold of it, Quins recycled and Robson scored from close range to get Harlequins off to a perfect start.
Four minutes later, Harlequins were in again. Tom Guest's charge splintered the London Welsh defence but turned the wrong way and again missed the chance to send Brown away. London Welsh conceded a kickable penalty but Harlequins went for touch and built the pressure from the lineout and eventually Evans spun a long pass out to Monye for the try.
The Exiles temporarily halted the one-way traffic with a ferocious tackle from centre Hudson Tong'uiha on Monye to win a penalty and edge into Harlequins territory. Full-back Tom Arscott then cut a sensational line through a clutch of players and when Harlequins were penalised for offside, Gordon Ross kicked London Welsh on to the scoreboard.
Jordan Turner-Hall was part of the Harlequins team that ran in six tries against London Welsh © Getty Images
The respite was temporary for London Welsh. Joe Ajuwa made a hash of a high ball and Monye pounced, setting another Quins attack in motion before receiving it back for another simple finish. Ross then turned down the chance of a second shot at goal but London Welsh lost the lineout and went into the break trailing by 18 points.
After a flat 20 minutes Harlequins kept the pressure on and Robson scored his second try of the evening from close range to earn the try bonus point. Conor O'Shea began to ring the changes, sending Danny Care on for Karl Dickson and Nick Easter for Guest. Having been relegated to the bench, Care had a point to prove in front of the watching England coach Stuart Lancaster and one audacious back-of-the-hand pass sent Monye away.
Brown launched another attack from deep and was taken out off the ball after chipping ahead but referee Luke Pearce waved play on and Lowe followed it up to score. Evans landed his fifth conversion of the evening before making way for Botica, the son of former Wigan and New Zealand rugby league player Frano Botica, who rounded off a comfortable Harlequins win with a late try.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Firdose Moonda talks to Rob Louw about the difficulties of being a South African touring New Zealand at the height of Apartheid
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games