NEC Harlequins started their Guinness A League campaign with an impressive 31-14 victory over arch-rivals London Wasps at the Stoop last night (Monday 5th September). The hosts scored four tries, while Adrian Jarvis kicked 11 points and finished with a 100% success rate from his goal kicking.
Indeed, it was Jarvis who cancelled out Jeremy Staunton's early penalty in similar fashion to make the score 3-3 after eight minutes. Just a couple of minutes later and Quins took the lead that they would not relinquish. After Simon Keogh made the telling break into the Wasps twenty-two, a cross-field kick from Jarvis was taken by Kiba Richards who dived over in the right hand corner. Jarvis slotted the conversion from the touchline to put the home side into a seven-point lead (10-3).
After Staunton missed two further penalty attempts, Quins doubled their advantage 15 minutes before the break. The home side turned over possession from a Wasps scrum just five metres from the visitors try line, allowing Nick Easter to burrow his way over from close range for a try that Jarvis converted.
Wasps fought back and scored their opening try of the match in first half injury time. A turn over of possession on halfway allowed winger Thom Evans to sprint clear down the right wing unopposed and score in the corner. Staunton missed the target with his conversion attempt, meaning that Quins led 17-8 at the interval.
Two minutes after the restart and George Robson was sin-binned for a professional foul. James Brooks took over the kicking duties from Staunton but saw his penalty kick at goal from in front of the posts cannon back of the upright. However, just three minutes later and ex-Quin Joe Mbu powered his way over for a try in the left hand corner. Despite Brooks missing the conversion from wide out, the deficit was now down to just four points (17-13).
Quins hit back and restored their two score lead as the game went into the final quarter. Charlie Amesbury gathered a clearance kick and released Tom Guest, who showed great pace in winning the race to the line out on the right flank. Jarvis once again added the two extra points on offer to stretch the hosts advantage to 11 points (24-13).
Five minutes from the end and any faint hopes Wasps had of claiming a victory evaporated as Keogh scored Quins final try of the night. A clever chip from Jarvis out to the right wing saw Keogh win the race to the ball ahead of Mbu and sprint clear under the posts unopposed. Jarvis made no mistake with the simple conversion to complete the scoring.
Final score, 31-14.
NEC Harlequins XV: 15. Charlie Amesbury, 14. Kiba Richards, 13. Will Greenwood, 12. Mel Deane, 11. Tosh Masson, 10. Adrian Jarvis, 9.Simon Keogh, 1. Aston Croall, 2. Tani Fuga, 3. Lorne Ward, 4. Kevin Burke, 5. George Robson, 6. Tom Guest, 7. Chris Robshaw, 8. Nick Easter
Replacements: 17. Alex Rogers, 18. James Inglis, 19. Darren Clayton, 20. Duncan James, 21. Justin Jones, 22. Luther Marais
London Wasps XV: 15. Jeremy Staunton, 14. Joe Mbu, 13. Rob Laird, 12. Rob Hoadley, 11. Thom Evans, 10. James Brooks, 9. James Honeyben, 1. Ali McKenzie, 2. Rob Webber, 3. Tom French, 4. Matt Corker, 5. George Skivington, 6. John Paul Filler, 7. Gareth Chamberlain, 8. Mark Lock
Replacements: 16. Peter Bracken, 17. Hugo Ellis, 18. Dominic Waldouck, 19. Ben Dormer, 20. Giles Pryor
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.