NEC Harlequins ended their two year wait for an away win in the Zurich Premiership by winning a tense, nervous game 16-6 over London Irish at the Madejski Stadium thanks to a first half try from Will Greenwood, converted by Paul Burke, and three second half penalties from Nathan Williams. The last of Williams penalties signalled the end of the game and denied the home side a bonus point.
It was Quins first double over the Exiles since the 1993/94 season (the first year of home and away fixtures) when they won 30-15 at the Stoop and then 33-7 at Sunbury.
London Irish scored first with a Barry Everitt penalty after nine minutes, in a period of the game when Quins were at their worst. However, the visitors slowly came back into the match and put a stranglehold on their hosts, denying them quick ball at the breakdown and allowing the Irish little time or space on the ball.
Once England centre Greenwood spun through two weak tackles to put the visitors in front on 28 minutes, the heads visibly went down from the home side, and despite the visitors losing Burke to injury in the seocnd half, Williams three second half strikes steered Quins home.
"Technically you could pick holes in our game all day, but it wasn't a technical day was it?" ventured Quins head coach Mark Evans.
"It was a day for hanging in and keeping control. I really did think that after the first 20 minutes we controlled the game for long, long periods, and if you do that in pressure games you are likely to come out with a result."
During week commencing 22nd April Harlequins will launch an innovative, new Membership Scheme which will replace the existing Season Ticket Holder Programme. Further details of the scheme will be announced in due course.