17 May 13
Harlequins has confirmed an exciting group of pre-season fixtures as it prepares for the start of the 2013-14 season.
Toby Flood raced the Tigers into an early lead with an intercept try, while Adam Thompstone scored the visitors second before half time. Ben Botica produced a flawless kicking display for the hosts and notched four attempts in the first half.
The kiwi fly-half was a late replacement for Nick Evans who failed a fitness test on his left ankle in the build-up to kick-off.
In the second half, Care lit the Stoop alight with a 60 metre solo try and a further eight points from Botica's boot was enough to cancel out Flood's single penalty.
The game was a bruising encounter with both sides marshalling strong and relentless defences. It was Harlequins that began the game with the best momentum and Flood's score on seven minutes couldn't have been more against the run of play.
With Harlequins attacking in the 22,s second-row forward and captain, Nick Easter threw a long miss pass which fell into the arms of the on rushing Leicester Fly-half. With an open plain infront of him, he touched down from 80 metres out and converted his score.
Botica was able to put three points on the board moments later, but the Tigers began to dominate the possession. Fresh from his England recall, Manu Tuilagi beat three defenders and stormed into the 22. The work of George Robson at the breakdown gifted Harlequins a turnover and after clearing their lines and having Tigers attack once more, Flood was able to add his first penalty before the 20 minute mark.
Botica was able to add a further three penalties to Harlequins' score, coupled with a further penalty from Flood.
With half time approaching, Thompstone crossed for his try. The Tigers, who had dominated the possession throughout the half where once again camped in the Harlequins 22. After Ugo Monye prevented George Chuter a score on the right wing, the ball was immediately shipped to the other side.
As the defence rushed up, Flood slipped a neat grubber kick through the line for the winger to score. There was a long break in play while the score was reviewed by the TMO, but the score was eventually confirmed. Flood's conversion missed, taking the half time scores to 12-18 in the Tigers' favour.
Harlequins began the second half strongly and when Danny Care crossed for his try, there was not a single Harlequins fan sitting down. Winning a penalty just inside the Harlequins half, the scrum-half, who had been released from England, took a quick tap from 65 yards out.
Making light work of the initial line of defence, he jinked his feet and dazzled his way around Mathew Tait to finish off the sensational run. Botica added the extras on 50minutes to give Harlequins the lead for the first time.
Botica was able to add a further penalty on the hour mark to extend Harlequins' lead to 22-18.
Harlequins were unlucky not to score a second impressive try, but the TMO was called in to judge on obstruction from Matt Hopper in midfield and ruled out the score which saw Monye cross in the left corner.
Tigers then worked downfield and when Harlequins infringed, Flood made no mistake in converting the penalty to bring the scores to within one point at 22-21.
Winning a series of penalties in the latter stages of the second half, Botica was able to notch a further three points to extend the lead and ensure the dramatic victory.