NEC Harlequins eased their way into the sixth round of this seasons Powergen National Trophy thanks to a 61-13 victory over Sedgley Park at Park Lane. Leading 21-13 at the halfway stage, the visitors scored six tries and 40 unanswered points in the second half to record an emphatic win.
However, it was the home side that had the better of the opening exchanges and centre Ian Voortman gave them the lead by converting a penalty after three minutes. Sedgley Park were soon deep in Quins territory from the restart and when Andrew Mehrten's clearance kick was charged down, centre Shaun Woof had the simplest of touchdowns. Voortman added the conversion to put the home side ten points ahead.
Quins hit back and got their first points of the game moments later. Jordan Turner-Hall and Nick Easter took the ball forward, before play was stopped just short of the Sedgley Park line. Kevin Burke picked the ball up at the base of the ruck and just reached over to score. Mehrtens made no mistake with the conversion to cut the deficit to three points (10-7).
With flanker Jimmy Ponton in the sin-bin for the hosts, Quins took the lead on 14 minutes. Tony Diprose won a lineout deep in the Sedgley Park twenty-two and passed to Burke, who crashed over just to the left of the posts. Two further points for Mehrtens made the score 10-14.
Quins extended their advantage at the start of the second quarter when they were awarded a penalty try after the pack drove their opposite numbers backwards at a scrum five metres from the Sedgley Park line. Mehrtens added the two extra points but a second penalty from Voortman made the score 13-21 at the break.
Four minutes after the restart and Simon Miall won possession at a Sedgley Park lineout deep in the home sides twenty-two. A cross-field kick from Mehrtens was taken by Tom Williams, who sidestepped a defender before diving over in the corner. Mehrtens successful conversion from the touchline put Quins into a 15-point lead (13-28).
George Harder was next on the score-sheet when he rounded off a great move that started well inside the Quins half and involved Turner-Hall, Mehrtens, Greenwood and Simon Keogh. Replacement Tom Guest then claimed Quins sixth try of the match with his first touch, when he swooped on a loose ball and ran-in unopposed from ten yards out. Two further conversions from Mehrtens took Quins tally up to 42 points.
Keogh then scored twice in the space of seven minutes at the start of the final quarter. First the winger won the race to a chip through from Harder before finishing off a quickly taken free kick from Gavin Duffy. Williams converted Keogh's second try to make the score 13-54 with 13 minutes left on the clock.
The visitors final try came eight minutes from time, with Greenwood gathering a beautifully weighted chip from Williams over the rushing Sedgley Park defence, before touching down under the posts. Williams made no mistake with the simple conversion to take Quins over the 60-point mark.
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.