Quins undone by Warriors fightback. 10th November 2019
Harlequins 14 Worcester Warriors 19
Gallagher Premiership Round 4 Saturday 9th November 2019
Peter Moore at the Stoop
Harlequins let a 14-3 lead slip after 13 minutes as Worcester staged a remarkable fight back to claim victory at The Stoop on Saturday.
On a soaking wet, windy and cold day in South West London it was the visitors who were on the board early when Quins went offside at a ruck, with Captain Jono Lance slotting over. Harlequins response was instant after Warriors went to sleep with James Chisholm spotting an unmarked Alex Dombrandt who found a gap to run in under the posts. Smith added the extras to give the hosts an early advantage.
Within five minutes Quins had made it 14-3 after Francis Sail’s tackle forced an error allowing Chisholm to kick through and touch down, with Smith converting. It took a while for the visitors to get a foothold in the game, with their best possession of play amounting to countless phases before Quins won the turnover.
There was still time before the break for Lance to slot over a couple of penalties to reduce the gap to 14-9 at half-time.
With the driving rain continuing making conditions very tricky ,halfway through the period Paul Gustard made changes by bringing on Tom Lawday, Fijian winger Vereniki Goneva- his Harlequins debut- Scott Baldwin and Nick Auterac for front row replacements, but it was Warriors who continued their fightback by retaking the lead after an attacking scrum which saw Jamie Shillcock go over in the corner, with Lance adding the extras, Worcester had a two point lead with just over ten minutes remaining. The remaining part of the match belonged to Quins who showed resilience in attack, but with the clock showing 80 minutes, Warriors pressure amounted to Quins straying offside, with Lance slotting over from 22 yards out to cap a remarkable turnaround for the visitors.
A disappointed Paul Gustard said after the match “We made too many errors after scoring two tries and then losing out in an arm wrestle. “The conditions were difficult, but they managed things better. Worcester are a pretty streetwise team who get away with a bit and we never got the reward I felt we deserved either from our own play or with the referee penalising them. “We gave away three penalties for contesting the breakdown and they didn’t give away one, which I felt was unfair. Saying that, the referee isn’t the reason we lost the game.”
Gustard added, “There’s no point feeling sorry for ourselves. We are not a bad team, but we are just not playing well or scoring enough points”.