Harlequins hammer Racing in Heineken Cup

Harlequins laid down a marker when they secured a big 8-32 away win at Stade
de la Beaujoire over Racing Metro 92 in the Heineken Cup.

Former All Black Nick Evans was again star of the show for Harlequins and scored
17 points in one of their finest performances in Europe which gives themselves
a lifeline in the Heineken Cup.

The fly-half scored the first of his team’s four tries as Quins stunned Racing-Metro
in Nantes to claim their first win of the campaign.

Nick Easter, Charlie Walker and Karl Dickson then all followed to secure a
bonus-point victory at Stade de la Beaujoire that lifts them to second in Pool
4.

Danny Care went close in the opening minutes amid a lively start by Harlequins.

But it was fellow half-back Evans who finally broke the deadlock on 18 minutes
with the game’s opening points.

Quins forwards edged forward with a series of drives before Evans spotted
a gap. The fly-half ran between Francois van der Merwe and Wenceslas Lauret
before rounding full-back Juan Martin Hernandez to touch down. Evans converted
his own try and then added a penalty five minutes later for an early 10-0 lead.

Matt Hopper was then denied Harlequins’ second try when the video official
ruled he put his foot in touch before grounding the ball under pressure from
Marc Andreu.

Just two minutes later and Easter made sure with Quins’ second try.

Mike Brown launched an attack from half-way though the move looked to have
come to a halt when he slipped on the greasy turf.

However Care released Easter and the No8 barged off fly-half Benjamin Dambielle
and was unstoppable from five metres out. Evans’ conversion handed Harlequins
a 17-0 lead after half an hour.

Racing finally awoke from their slumber and briefly threatened though struggled
to break down a resilient Quins defence. Even when Evans saw a kick charged
down, Walker scrambled back to clear the danger.

Racing settled for a penalty on the stroke of half-time but then rung the
changes including the arrival at halftime of Jonny Sexton.

But it was Evans who claimed the first points of the second half as Quins continued
where they left off in the first half.

Hernandez fumbled Care’s speculative kick and Walker was on-hand to take advantage.
The wing gathered possession, handed off Maxime Machenaud before out-pacing
the covering defenders into the corner.

Sexton came close to finding a way back for Racing but his cross-field kick,
following a series of drives by his forwards, eluded the fingertips of Juan
Imhoff out wide.

The out-of-sorts Parisiens found a way back when Karim Ghezal’s lineout take
set up a drive from which Bernard Le Roux was driven over, though Sexton pushed
his conversion across the posts.

Mike Phillips replaced Maxime Machenaud to make his debut for Racing but not
even the British Lion’s arrival could turn his team’s fortunes.

Harlequins ensured they had the final say and wrapped up a vital bonus point
on the road when replacement scrum-half Dickson completed a powerful drive by
his forwards for the final score ten minutes from time.

Final Score Racing Metro 8 (3) Harlequins 32 (17)

Scorers

Racing Metro 92
Tries – Le Roux
Pen -Dambielle
Con –
Drop –

Harlequins
Tries – Evans, Easter, Walker, Dickson
Pen – Evans (2)
Con – Evans (3)
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee:
Leighton Hodges (Wales),
Assistant ref: (TBA),
Assistant ref: Simon Rees (Wales),
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales),
Citing Commissioner: Murray Whyte (Ireland)

Teams

Racing Metro 92

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