17 May 13
Harlequins has confirmed an exciting group of pre-season fixtures as it prepares for the start of the 2013-14 season.
Both Dan Parks and Ben Botica scored 14 points from the boot for their respective sides in the first half and despite a try for Connacht's Dave McSharry, Care's brace proved the ultimate difference.
In the second half, Harlequins had a wealth of momentum and possession, but the Connacht defence held firm. Dan Parks could only add a single penalty, outmatched by two further penalties from Botica.
It was Harlequins who opened the scoring on four minutes. Ben Botica on his senior starting debut started where he left off last week, making light work of a penalty kick.
It was however Connacht that took the lead after 12 minutes. Winning a free kick from a scrum in the Harlequins half, a miss pass from Parks to McSharry allowed the centre to carve through the defence and score from 30 yards out. With the extras added by Parks, the home side lead 7-3.
Both Kickers exchanged further penalties inside the first 15 minutes bringing the scores to 10-9. From here Harlequins' ill-discipline began to creep in and the Londoners were close to letting the game run away from them as Parks made no mistake from the boot.
With the half hour mark approaching Parks, had punished Quins a further three times, giving the hosts a 19-9 lead.
The final 15 minutes of the first half were key for Harlequins. Nick Easter, who had been stealing the restarts left right and centre was key in the build-up to Harlequins' comeback.
With Harlequins in possession, following a steal from Easter, Quins worked into the 22 and after being awarded a scrum, Care crossed over for his first try. The scrum half picked from the base of the set piece and scored after running from 20 yards out. Botica was not able to add the extras as the deficit was reduced to 19-14.
Harlequins struck twice before the half. Mike Brown broke down the left wing on 36 minutes. Both Easter and Jordan Turner-Hall worked Quins to within inches of the line and with a shimmy from Care, the scrum-half scored again in a similar place to his first. Botica's conversion followed by another penalty before the break, gave Quins a 19-21 lead.
Parks reduced the gap moments into the second half, but Botica was able to respond with three points of his own.
Harlequins continued to pressurise the home side with regular possession and territory. To the home side's credit, they did very well to prevent further tries as Botica could only add a second penalty of the second half to complete the scoring.
|Connacht Rugby Score Card|
|Harlequins Score Card|