NEC Harlequins defeated Cambridge University by 31-6 at a rain soaked Stoop last night (Monday 24th October). The game was effectively over by half-time as Quins, playing into the wind, led by 26-6.
Fly half Johnny Ufton put the visitors in front by converting a penalty inside the opening two minutes, though Quins response was immediate. A quickly taken penalty by Simon Keogh put the Cambridge defence on the back foot before the ball went out to Kiba Richards on the right wing, who had the pace and power to fend off a couple of defenders to score in the corner.
Adrian Jarvis missed the conversion from wide out and straight from the restart, Ufton kicked his second penalty of the night to put Cambridge into a one-point lead (6-5). With 15 minutes on the clock, the home side went back in front where they remained for the rest of the match.
A flowing move involving backs and forwards took play deep into the Cambridge twenty-two, where a knock-on from the visitors gave Quins a scrum five metres from the line. The pack marched their opposite numbers backwards at the set-piece allowing Keogh to claim the try, which Jarvis converted.
Ufton missed the opportunity to cut the deficit when his third penalty of the half drifted wide of the posts, before Quins extended their advantage 13 minutes before the break. Tom Williams at full back came into the line and comfortably had the pace to win the race to the try line ahead of a couple of Cambridge defenders. Two further points from Jarvis made the score 19-6 in Quins favour.
Seven minutes later and Jimmy Richards claimed Quins fourth try. The hooker finished off a powerful rolling maul from the forwards that started just inside the Cambridge twenty-two. A third successful conversion from Jarvis gave Quins their 20-point lead at the halfway stage (26-6).
Heavy rain fell persistently after the interval and the half was littered with handling errors from both teams. It looked as if neither side was going to add to their tally, though that changed in the last play of the game when Alex Rogers bundled his way over from close range for Quins fifth and final try.
Final score, 31-6.
NEC Harlequins XV: 15. Tom Williams, 14. Kiba Richards, 13. Adam Thompson, 12. Adrian Jarvis, 11. Charlie Amesbury, 10. Ian Vass, 9. Simon Keogh, 1. Mike Worsley, 2. Jimmy Richards, 3. Lorne Ward, 4. James Inglis, 5. Kevin Burke, 6. Chris Robshaw, 7. Tom Guest, 8. Tony Diprose
Replacements: 16. James Hayter, 17. Aston Croall, 18. Alex Rogers, 19. George Robson, 20. Luther Marais, 21. Sam Cotterall, 22. Benjamin Reboul
Tries: K. Richards, Keogh, Williams, J. Richards, Rogers
Conversion: Jarvis (3)
Cambridge University XV: 15. Ed Carter , 14. David Akinluyi, 13. Paul Magee, 12. Steffan Thomas, 11. Charlie Desmond, 10. Johnny Ufton, 9. Carl Bradshaw, 1. Rudolph Bosch, 2. Tom Woolsey, 3. Ed Kalman, 4. Scott Annett, 5. John Blaikie, 6. Richard Bartholemew, 7. Dave O'Brien, 8. Mike Harfoot
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.