NEC Harlequins got back to winning ways in the Guinness A League with an emphatic 56-15 victory over Bristol at the Stoop last night (Monday 19th September). Playing with no shortage of skill, pace and aggression, Quins ran-in seven tries with Charlie Amesbury and Chris Robshaw both scoring twice.
The home side opened the scoring with just three minutes on the clock, after Quins stole possession from a lineout inside the Bristol twenty-two. Steve So'oialo worked his way through a gap at the side of the ruck to score by the posts, which Adrian Jarvis converted. A penalty from fly half Danny Gray opened Bristol's account, but Jarvis responded in similar fashion twice soon after, to make the score 13-3 with 13 minutes on the clock.
The start of the second quarter saw Quins score their second try, which again resulted from a turnover. An excellent cut-out pass from Jarvis to Tom Guest allowed the flanker to take play deep into the Bristol twenty-two, where Tom Williams was in support to accept the scoring pass. Jarvis added the extras from the conversion but a dubious penalty try kept the visitors in touch, with the score standing at 20-10 to Quins after 29 minutes.
Jarvis converted his third penalty of the half before Tosh Masson extended Quins advantage. The centre gathered a poor pass from Jarvis, skipped away from an attempted tackle and then weaved his way to the line for a lovely solo try.
In first half injury time, a quickly taken penalty from So'oialo, carried on by Jordan Turner-Hall led to Robshaw racing over for try number four. Both scores were converted by Jarvis to give Quins a commanding 37-10 lead at half-time.
Yet another turnover of ball resulted in Quins claiming their opening try of the second half, six minutes after the restart. George Harder and Robshaw combined to release Amesbury down the left flank, who had an unopposed run to the line. Nine minutes later and the Bristol pack were unable to stop their opposite numbers driving them over their own line from a lineout, resulting in Robshaw claiming his second try. A first miss of the night from Jarvis meant Quins had to wait to reach the 50-point mark (49-10).
A rare sustained period of pressure from the visitors eventually led to a consolation try for replacement Jon Pritchard, but only after some excellent defence from Quins. However, it was the home side who completed the scoring four minutes from the end.
A sweeping move from the backs saw Luther Marais come into the line and split open the Bristol defence, before offloading to Amesbury on the overlap, who again was unchallenged in going over for his second try. Two further points for Jarvis took his individual tally to 21 for the night and rounded off an excellent display from Quins.
Final score, 56-13.
NEC Harlequins XV: 15. Tom Williams, 14. Charlie Amesbury, 13. Tosh Masson, 12. Jordan Turner-Hall, 11. George Harder, 10. Adrian Jarvis, 9. Steve So'oialo, 1. Aston Croall, 2. Jimmy Richards, 3. Lorne Ward, 4. Pablo Bouza, 5. Kevin Burke, 6. Chris Robshaw, 7. Tom Guest, 8. Tony Diprose
Replacements: 16. Dave Millard, 17. Jake Hayes, 18. James Inglis, 19. George Robson, 20. Duncan James, 21. Luther Marais, 22. Justin Jones
Bristol XV: 15. Sean Marsden, 14. Marko Stanojevic, 13. Sam Cox, 12. Mark Denney, 11. David Lemi, 10. Danny Gray, 9. Greg Nicholls, 1. Tom Fidler, 2. Neil Clark, 3. Wayne Thompson, 4. Olly Kohn, 5. Dave Bufton, 6. Rik Martin-Redman, 7. Chris Morgan, 8. Alex Mockford
Replacements: 16. Danny Howick, 17. Alun Hiett, 18. Dave Attwood, 19. Redford Pennycook, 20. Jacob Rauluni, 21. Jon Pritchard, 22. Andy Reay
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.