NEC Harlequins secured a place in the Cup quarter-finals, after a resounding victory over Division Two side Manchester. Quins underlined their<br />Premiership status with a flurry of spectacular tries and always looked the more fluent coming forward.
Manchester opened the scoring on five minutes with a 40 yard penalty from captain Steve Swindells. Quins were quick to respond and soon recorded their first try of the day. Centre's Will Greenwood and Nick Greenstock combined well, with the latter diving over after 11 minutes. Niall Woods converted to make the score 7-3 and put the home team in command. Soon afterwards,
Matthew Powell's clever dummy released Greenstock for his and Quins second try. Woods converted in front of the post to give the home team a sizeable
The visitors were spurred into action and came close to a try on several occasions. Twice Jamie Greenlees burst through the Quins defence
only to be tackled yards from the try line. This stubborn defending paid off, and it was Quins who extended their lead just before half-time. A
flowing move that started deep in the Quins half ended with Niall Woods scoring in the corner. Woods converted to make the score 21-3 at the
As the second half commenced Manchester were faced with a mountain to climb. However they were not about to give in without a fight, and this was
illustrated on 44 minutes when Tim Burgon and David Wilson were banished to the sin-bin. The referee's decision seemed to favour the home side and Quins added a try almost immediately. Andy Kahn's kick was charged down presenting Rory Jenkins with an easy chance to score.
With the game now safe, Quins piled forward looking likely to score with every attack. However, they kept their supporters waiting until the 65th minute when Woods gathered a poor clearance and set up Jamie Williams to score.
As the travelling fans prepared for the long trip home, Asi Leulia ensured that they at least had something to cheer about. The Manchester winger
weaved between three tackles to score a late consolation try. Still it was Quins who had the last say with Woods scoring a breakaway try in injury time. Woods converted to make the score 38-8 and seal Quins largest victory of the season so far.
Harlequins fan Ed Atkin won the Etihad Airways 'Up and Under' competition at the Northampton Saints game. As a result, he and a friend have won a holiday to Abu Dhabi courtesy of Etihad Airways and the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.