Harlequins leave it late against London Wasps

Harlequins scored a late try and surged to a tense 15-16 Aviva Premiership opening victory over London Wasps a Twickenham.

Harlequins replacement Karl Dickson scored in the 71st minute to put Harlequins into the lead after trailing for the match.

Harlequins managed to hold on in defence until the final minute but then Andy Goode sent a long pass out to Tom Palmer who scored in the corner and put Wasps in a position to win the match with the conversion.

Goode took the conversion which looked to be on target initially but then faded to the left and hit the post handing the victory to Harlequins.

The first half proved to be a scrappy affair as two normally free-flowing teams
were unable to hold onto the ball for any sustained period.

Wasps did find their way over the try-line through Joe Launchbury and Andy
Goode added a conversion and a penalty as they led 10-3 at the break, but genuine
chances were at a premium.

Quins’ response in the opening period came through a Nick Evans’ three-pointer
before the fly-half added two more after the interval.

Karl Dickson then went over late on, but Tom Palmer’s touchdown gave Goode
the chance to snatch the win. However, his effort hit the left-hand post.

In the same fixture last season, Wasps led 40-13 early in the second half only
to succumb 42-40 after a superb comeback by the Stoop-based team.

That time, the High Wycombe outfit started with a high tempo and exposed a
lacklustre Quins’ side.

It seemed this match could go the same way when Launchbury touched down in
the opening minute after early pressure.

Goode, a new signing from Worcester Warriors, was on target with the conversion
as they took a 7-0 advantage.

However, that was quickly reduced by former New Zealand international Evans
but, unlike the previous campaign, both teams were struggling to put phases
together.

And although Wasps’ stand-off restored their seven-point lead after 13 minutes
that was the last scoring action of the half.

Quins’ prospects weren’t helped by the unusually wayward kicking of their fly-half,
who missed two opportunities before the interval. But he wasn’t about to continue
that streak as Conor O’Shea’s men hit back after the break.

Evans was successful with two three-pointers to bring them to within one.

They were still finding it difficult to break down a stubborn Wasps’ team,
but the crucial score eventually came when Dickson finished from close-range
after the forwards had done the hard yards.

Back came Wasps, though, and Palmer went over after a period of pressure but
Goode couldn’t quite kick the conversion.

Final Score London Wasps 15 (10) Harlequins 16 (3)

Scorers

London Wasps
Tries – Launchbury, Palmer
Pen – Goode
Con – Goode
Drop –

Harlequins
Tries – Dickson
Pen – Evans 3
Con – Evans
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee
: Tim Wigglesworth (67th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Roy Maybank and Andrew Pearce
TMO: Sean Davey.

Teams

London Wasps

15 Andrea Masi , 14 Christian Wade , 13 Ben Jacobs , 12 Charlie Hayter , 11 Tom Varndell , 10 Andy Goode , 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Ed Jackson, 7 Guy Thompson , 6 Sam Jones (captan) , 5 Tom Palmer, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley , 2 Tom Lindsay ,1 Matt Mullan

Replacements: 16 Neil Cochrane , 17 Simon McIntyre , 18 Will Taylor , 19 James Cannon , 20 Ashley Johnson , 21 Charlie Davies , 22 Joe Carlisle , 23 Tommy Bell

Harlequins

15. Mike Brown, 14. Paul Sackey, 13. George Lowe, 12. Jordan Turner-Hall, 11. Ugo Monye, 1

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