19 points from Adrian Jarvis helped NEC Harlequins to record an impressive 29-15 victory over Manu Samoa at the Stoop. Despite the contest being classed as a friendly fixture, the turning point in the match came 17 minutes from the end when Samoa prop forward Donald Kerslake was sent off for stamping. Quins went on to score two tries with their extra man advantage, to give the home side a comfortable win come the final whistle.
It was Quins who dominated possession and territory throughout much of the first half, but they were unable to break through a resilient defence from the tourists. Two penalties from Jarvis put the hosts into a six-point lead with only nine minutes on the clock, only for full back Lolo Lui to cut the deficit with a penalty of his own.
A high tackle on Tosh Masson allowed Jarvis to restore Quins six-point advantage 12 minutes from half-time, before Samoa scored the opening try of the night. Some good attacking play from the home side eventually led to Charlie Amesbury chipping the ball through into the visitors twenty-two.
Fly half Faletoese Talapusi gathered possession and broke downfield into the Quins half. Some excellent support play eventually resulted in winger Gasolo Salima scoring a stunning try. Lui added the two extra points on offer to put Samoa into a one-point lead (10-9), though Jarvis converted his fourth penalty of the half to make the score 12-10 to Quins at the break.
14 minutes after the restart and Jarvis added to his tally with another penalty, before Kerslake saw red having stamped on Charlie Amesbury at a ruck. Minutes later and Quins put themselves into a two-score lead with the first of their two tries. Tony Diprose broke away from a scrum five metres from the Samoa line and Chris Robshaw was in support to power over from close range. Two further points from Jarvis made the score 22-10.
The home side put the result beyond doubt ten minutes from the end when George Robson was driven over for Quins second try. Jarvis added the conversion from out on the right, but it was Samoa who had the last word as Steve So'oialo scored a consolation try.
Final score, 29-15.
NEC Harlequins XV: 15. Mike Brown, 14. George Harder, 13. Tosh Masson, 12. Jordan Turner-Hall, 11. Charlie Amesbury, 10. Adrian Jarvis, 9. Ian Vass, 1. Mike Worsley, 2. James Hayter (Capt.), 3. Lorne Ward, 4. Kevin Burke, 5. James Inglis, 6. Chris Robshaw, 7. Tom Guest, 8. Tony Diprose
Replacements: 16. Aston Croall, 17. Alex Rogers, 18. Jimmy Richards, 19. George Robson, 20. Luke Sherriff, 21. Simon Keogh, 22. Tom Williams, 23. Kiba Richards
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.