Quins run in nine tries to maintain top three spot after commanding victory over Gloucester
Harlequins 59 Gloucester Rugby 24
Gallagher Premiership Saturday 20th March 2021
Peter Moore at The Stoop
Harlequins ran in nine tries to defeat Gloucester 59-24 to consolidate their position in the top four.
The home side raced in to a 24-0 lead, with the try bonus point secured after 25 minutes. Gloucester hit back in a crazy second half to level the scores, before Quins pulled away for a comfortable win.
Harlequins had the first points on the board after ten minutes when the hosts worked the ball wide with Luke Northmore going over after Mike Brown and Cadan Murley set up the centre. Marcus Smith missed the conversion, but the hosts had an early lead.
Within five minutes Northmore was involved in the build up to Quins second try of the afternoon. After an initial burst of pace, the ball was worked to Mike Brown who crashed over. This time Smith was successful from the tee.
Two minutes later Quins had raced into a 17-0 lead when Murley raced down the wing and scored in the corner. A second missed conversion from Smith is a rarity these days, but his effort went wide of the posts.
Harlequins were running riot in the opening half an hour and soon secured the try bonus point when James Chisholm broke through the middle and offloaded to Danny Care who went over. Smith added the extras to give Quins a 24-0 lead.
It could have been even worse for the visitors, but for a last ditch try saving tackle to deny Joe Gray going over following a line out.
The Cherry and Reds did have something to celebrate when Charlie Chapman raced clear to cross. George Barton added the extra two points from under the sticks to at least give the visitors something to take into the break in a half that was dominated by Quins who led at the interval 24-7.
When these two sides met at Kingshome back in December 58 points were scored with Quins coming out on top 34-24. There was early signs in the second half that there would be more points to come in the second half
The Cherry and Whites were awarded a penalty at the start of the second half. Instead of kicking for touch fly half Barton elected to take the points on offer.
The visitors looked a different unit after the break and were right back in the contest with two tries in the course of two minutes. Matt Garvey powered over from short range and within sixty seconds Chapman pounced on a loose pass to score. With a successful conversion the fightback was very much on.
Harlequins needed to score the next points and their response was immediate when Northmore offloaded to Care who ran in under the posts. After a fifteen-minute spell where Gloucester were on top, the hosts started to get back once again into top gear. In the 63rd minute a one-handed offload from Andre Esterhuizen sent in Tyrone Green to go over. Smith made no mistake with the extras to give the home side a 38-24 lead.
Following a big collision between Matt Banahan and Green, it was Banahan who came out worse. Following extensive treatment along with a stretcher bought on to the pitch, the good news was that the centre was able to get up on to his feet. After reviewing the incident Referee Ian Tempest produced a red card to Banahan for a high tackle.
From the resulting scrum Alex Dombrandt dotted down. Two minutes later Northmore capped a wonderful performance with a perfect try, running in from distance.
There was still time for Harlequins to add their ninth try of the game following an attacking line out Dombrandt powered over for his second of the game, as Quins made it six wins from their last nine games.