18 Jun 13
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Quins got the first points on the board with a penalty from Nick Evans after just two minutes but three minutes later Tom Homer levelled with a penalty kick of his own. 3-3.
With the clock ticking towards the end of the first quarter, Quins stepped up a gear and pinned the home side in their own half. Quick hands between the backs looked to have set Brown in for a try but the Irish defence denied him just short of the line. Determined to cross the line, Quins continued to pile the pressure on and, after repeated waves of attack, James Johnston claimed the spoils (16 mins). Evans converted. 3-10
Although Homer missed a penalty on 21 minutes, he was not to be denied a second which came at a greater cost to Quins as Joe Marler was shown a yellow card for repeated infringements. With the ball right in front of the posts it was a simple way for Homer to close the gap. 6-13
With London Irish back in their own half Quins were looking for more points but, as it looked like Ugo might have crashed through the Irish defence, the ball spilled forward to deny the winger.
If Quins thought that might have been an opportunity missed, Irish were kicking themselves moments later. With a one player advantage, Irish put the ball through the hands, stretching Quins. Ojo's final pass to Roche should have allowed the flanker to run in unmarked, but a fumbled ball scuppered their first real chance of a try.
With the clock just minutes from the half time whistle there were worrying moments for Quins fans as Tom Guest was stretched off the pitch with a broken arm.
Just two minutes into the second half and Irish had evened the score after Topsy Ojo found himself unmarked on the wing and the winger took full advantage, placing the ball down between the posts. It was an easy conversion for Homer. 13-13
Tim Fairbrother came on to replace James Johnston, making his first team debut for Quins.
Quins continued to put in some great passages of play. With the forwards battering the Irish defence, openings were beginning to show for the backs. A penalty against Irish for holding on put Quins back in the lead (Evans), 13-16
The score was to go back in favour of Irish just 3 minutes later as Quins found themselves short of numbers once again on their left wing, and Alex Gray's quick inside pass put Ojo in for his second. 18-16
An Evans penalty saw Quins push their noses back into the lead, 18-19.
Charlie Matthews replaced Will Skinner (twice; as he first came on for blood and then minutes later as a full replacement) to make his Premiership debut.
Frustrated with his earlier effort near the tryline, Ugo showed why many critics believe he should have gone to New Zealand, when he crashed through a Homer tackle to dramatically touch the ball down in the left hand corner. Evans slotted his sixth successive kick, this time from the touchline. 21-26
A 64th minute penalty from Homer kept Irish in touch but a seventh consecutive kick from Evans cancelled it out. A fourth and final penalty kick from Homer secured a losing bonus point for Irish.
Aviva Premiership Man of the Match: Nick Evans
|London Irish Score Card|
|Harlequins Score Card|