Harlequins open European season with big Montpellier victory

Harlequins captain Danny Care scores a try

Harlequins kicked off the 2015/6 European Rugby Challenge Cup with a six try 41-18 hammering of Montpellier at the Twickenham Stoop on Thursday.

The English side outscored French side Montpellier by six tries to none while Harlequins second rower Charlie Mathews was named European Rugby Challenge Cup man of the match.

While Harlequins won the match convincingly they did have to come from behind after hitting early difficulties against the Montpellier front row and the boot of scrum half Benoit Paillaugue.

They were trailing 9-0 before they managed to notch their first points of the night from outside half Nick Evans.

His penalty gave the home side some heart and then the front five finally managed to get a grip on proceedings – and the Montpellier pack. The visitors also suffered when Georgian prop Mikheil Nariashvili was sent to the sin-bin.

While the loose head was off the field the home side notched their second try through the outstanding 37-year-old No 8 warhorse Nick Easter to ensure they changed ends with their noses in front, 15-12. Luke Wallace burrowed over for the first home try.

In the second half, Quins turned on the style and added four more tries, while all Montpellier could muster were two more penalties from Paillaugue. Jack Clifford grabbed the third try and new skipper Danny Care converted a driving line-out maul to bag the bonus-point score.

The try of the night came from replacement wing Ollie Lindsay-Hague’s first touch as he rounded off some thrilling approach work from the England trio of Marland Yarde, Care and Mike Brown over the previous 50 metres.

England World Cup captain Chris Robshaw ended the night with a flop over the line from close range and the job was completed. The Harlequins travel to Cardiff Blues next week.

Final Score Harlequins 41 (15) Montpellier 18 (12)

Scorers

Harlequins
Tries – Wallace, Easter, Clifford, Care, Lindsay-Hague, Robshaw
Pen – Evans
Con – Evans (3), Botica
Drop –

Montpellier
Tries –
Pen – Paillaugue (6)
Con –
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales),
Assistant ref: Simon Rees (Wales),
Assistant ref: Stuart Kibble (Wales),
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales),
Citing Commissioner: Dennis Jones (Wales)

Teams

Harlequins

Mike Brown; Marland Yarde, Matt Hopper, Harry Sloan, Tim Visser; Nick Evans, Danny Care (c); Joe Marler, Dave Ward, Adam Jones, Charlie Matthews, Sam Twomey, Jack Clifford, Luke Wallace, Nick Easter

Replacements: Rob Buchanan, Mark Lambert, Kyle Sinckler, Kieran Treadwell, Chris Robshaw, Karl Dickson, Ben Botica, Ollie Lindsay- Hague

Montpellier

Jesse Mogg; Benjamin Fall, Timoci Nagusa, Anthony Tuitavke, Marvin O’Connor; Francois Trinh-Duc, Benoit Paillaugue; Mikheil Nariashvili, Craig Burden, Nicolas Mas, Robins Tchale Watchou, Paul Willemse, Fulgence Ouedraogo (c), Wiaan Liebenberg, Akapusi Qera

Replacements: Mickael Ivaldi, Pat Cilliers, CJ Van Der Linde, Sitaleki Timani, Kelian Galletier, Benjamin Lucas, Robert Ebersohn, Julien Malzieu

With thanks to EPC Rugby

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