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Tuesday 27 December 2022

Harlequins miss opportunity to go second in the Premiership table after defeat to Bristol Bears at Twickenham Stoop

The usual Christmas Bank Holiday fixture at Twickenham Stadium could not take place this year but the games were still played at The Stoop. 

In the first of the double-header matches, Harlequins Women beat Bristol Bears 48-14 in the Premier 15s. Could Harlequins Men put on a similar display?

The simple answer was ‘no’.

The hosts went down 3-points within as many minutes; compounding the misery of losing Will Evans within the opening minute of play. Bristol were on the front foot however Quins were not dejected; their set pieces were strong, and they were dominant in the scrum.

Within 16 minutes, the hosts were down another seven points but then Quins put together a succession of fast phases allowing them to score in the far corner. Unconverted. Bristol then started to let their hearts rule their heads, giving away free kicks and penalties. This allowed Quins to remain in the game; Marchant having a try disallowed.

The visitors, however, extended their lead going into half-time: Harlequins 5 – 15 Bristol Bears.

The bad weather conditions had a hand in the game with high balls being dropped and the momentum of Quins’ scrum-half Danny Care saw him sliding into touch on the sodden pitch before being able to ground the ball. A much-needed try went begging.

Despite this, the hosts were now on the front foot; Care attempting a chip over, aiming for Marchant, but it was just too far out of his reach to maximise the opportunity.

Cadan Murley made the all important breakthrough for Harlequins – he gathered a well-weighted kick by Danny Care and crossed the line for a try; converted: Harlequins 12 – 15 Bristol Bears in the 59th minute.

Just three points between the sides with 21 minutes remaining; Marchant dropping a simple ball due to the never-ending rain; Bears kicking out on the full.

5-minutes remaining and a yellow-card was shown to Bears’ Ibitoye for a dangerous tackle on Esterhuizen. Quins then went for glory rather than points (which would have leveled the scores) but in doing so lost their line-out and wee pushed back.

Quins secured possession on the next attempt; a tap-tackle on Esterhuizen, however, prevented a winning try; the ball spilled forward. Bears then safely saw the clock count down for a their first win in three months.

Harlequins 12 – 15 Bristol Bears Quins remain in third place in the Premiership table.
posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 6:26 pm  

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