Harlequins secure Heineken Cup double over Racing

Harlequins kept up with their rivals in Heineken Cup Pool four when they followed up last week’s victory over Racing Metro with a 17-3 victory over the Parisians at The Twickenham Stoop on Sunday.

Harlequins stayed in the hunt for a place in the quarter-finals while effectively
knocking big-spending French side Racing-Metro out of contention with a clinical
victory in London.

Harlequins’ win completed the double over Racing-Metro, who at least could
console themselves with a more whole-hearted performance than the limpid one
in the 32-8 drubbing they took in Paris last Saturday.

Harlequins trail Pool 4 leaders Clermont, who have 15 points, by four points
with two games remaining — including the pair’s clash at Twickenham Stoop on
the final wekeend — while Racing-Metro are joint bottom with Welsh outfit Scarlets
on six points.

Racing had shown their intent to try and turn things round by making 14 changes
to their starting line-up.

Among those to come in were several international heavyweights with Jonathan
Sexton being paired for the first time with Mike Phillips while the latter’s
compatriots Jamie Roberts and Dan Lydiate also lined up.

Harlequins eased into a 6-0 lead thanks to two penalties by Nick Evans and
the French side were reduced to 14 men when prop David Khinchagashvili punched
Joe Marler and was fortunate to escape just with a yellow card from Alain Rolland.

Evans missed a penalty chance as the game neared the end of the first quarter
but the 33-year-old former All Black fly-half made no mistake with another attempt
to give them a 9-0 lead after 25 minutes.

The hosts scored a much deserved try on the stroke of half-time as the dynamic
20-year-old Charlie Walker raced through to touch down and although Evans sent
the conversion wide, they went to the changing rooms 14-0 to the good.

Evans was unable to retake the field after the break — he had taken a heavy
knock midway through the first-half but soldiered manfully on –and was replaced
by Ben Botica, who slotted over a penalty in the 52nd minute to make it 17-0.

Sexton — who had missed a penalty attempt in the first-half — finally got
Racing-Metro on the board with a penalty as the clock ticked onto the hour mark.

Final Score Harlequins (14) 17 Racing Metro 92 (0) 3

Scorers

Harlequins
Try: Walker
Pen: Evans 3, Botica

Racing Metro
Pen: Sexton

Match Officials
Referee
: Alain Rolland (Ireland),
Assistant ref: Sean Gallagher (Ireland),
Assistant ref: Gary Conway (Ireland),
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland),
Citing Commissioner: Eddie Walsh (Ireland)

Teams

Harlequins: Mike Brown; Charlie Walker, Matt Hopper, Tim Molenaar, Sam Smith; Nick Evans, Danny Care; Joe Marler, Dave Ward, Will Collier, Charlie Matthews, George Robson, Luke Wallace, Chris Robshaw (c), Nick Easter

Replacements: Joe Gray, Mark Lambert, Paul Doran-Jones, Nick Kennedy, Joe Trayfoot, Karl Dickson, Ben Botica, Ollie Lindsay- Hague

Racing Metro 92: Juan Martin Hernandez; Adrien Plante, Henry Chavancy, Jamie Roberts, Virimi Vakatawa; Jonny Sexton, Mike Phillips; Davit Khinchagishvili, Virgile Lacombe, Soane Tonga’uiha, Fabrice Metz, Karim Ghezal, Dan Lydiate, Antoine Battut (c), Camille Gerondeau

Replacements: Jeremie Maurouard, Eddy Ben Arous, Luc Ducalcon, Juandre Kruger,

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