Harlequins down London Irish and stay alive

Harlequins kept themselves in the hunt for the play offs when they beat London Irish 23-9 at the Twickenham Stoop in the Aviva Premiership

Quins had to wait until the dying stages to kill off the Exiles but two late
tries eventually secured victory.

Conor O’Shea’s charges went into the match knowing that a win was an absolute
necessity if they had any hope of making the play-offs, with a nine-point gap
having opened up between themselves and fourth place, and they made a perfect
start.

Former All Black fly-half Nick Evans gave them a seven-point lead with a little
over 10 minutes gone as he collected his own chip over the top of the defence
to score under the posts and added the conversion with ease.

Evans added a penalty later in the first half as well but the visitors had
their moments and James O’Connor made sure they were rewarded for their possession
and territory by kicking three penalties of his own to leave the score finely
balanced at 10-9 at the break.

Marland Yarde, who will be making the move to the Stoop at the end of the season,
made things difficult for the Exiles in the early stages of the second half
by picking up a yellow card but it was testament to their defence that the only
points that they conceded during the 10 minutes down to 14 men was the resultant
Evans penalty.

And Irish were still very much in with a chance of picking up another away
victory, after they had won three of their previous five matches on the road,
going into the final 10 minutes.

Quins did seal the win that they so desperately needed though with two late
tries.

Winger Sam Smith finished off the first of them after an excellent driving
maul had created the overlap and the Six Nations player of the tournament Mike
Brown marked his return to the side by putting the icing on the cake.

He came into the line to score in the corner after some concerted Harlequins
pressure and, although there wasn’t enough time left for the hosts to grab the
all-important bonus point try, they will be satisfied to be back to winning
ways after losing two of their previous three games.

Final Score Harlequins 23 (10) London Irish 9 (9)

Scorers

Harlequins
Tries – Evans, Smith, Brown
Pen -Evans (2)
Con – Evans
Drop –

London Irish
Tries –
Pen – O’Connor (3)
Con –
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee:
Andrew Small (101st Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Gareth Copsey and Andy Watson
TMO: Keith Lewis.

Teams

Harlequins

15. Mike Brown , 14. Ollie Lindsay-Hague , 13. Matt Hopper , 12. Jordan Turner-Hall , 11. Sam Smith , 10. Nick Evans , 9. Danny Care, 8. Nick Easter , 7. Chris Robshaw (C) , 6. Luke Wallace , 5. George Robson , 4. Nick Kennedy, 3. Kyle Sinckler , 2. Dave Ward ,1. Joe Marler

Replacements : 16. Max Crumpton , 17. Mark Lambert , 18. Paul Doran Jones , 19. Charlie Matthews , 20. Tom Guest , 21. Karl Dickson , 22. Ben Botica , 23. Tim Molenaar

London Irish

15. James O’Connor; 14. Topsy Ojo; 13. Fergus Mulchrone; 12. Eamonn Sheridan; 11. Marland Yarde; 10. Shane Geraghty; 9. Tomas O’Leary; 1. Matt Parr; 2. Jimmy Stevens; 3. Jamie Hagan; 4. George Skivington (Captain); 5. Nic Rouse; 6. Kieran Low; 7. Blair Cowan; 8. Ofisa Treviranus

Replacements: 16. Mike Mayhew; 17. John Yapp; 18. Leo Halavatau; 19. Jebb Sinclair; 20. Gerard Ellis; 21. Alex Lewington; 22.

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