07 Mar 14
Mike Brown speaks to Simon Ward of the RFU.com podcast ahead of this weekend's clash against Wales and discusses his personal message from Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel.
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Quins v L Irish
Harlequins v London Irish
London Irish (H)
29/03/2014, KO 15:00
Sat 29th Mar 14
AVIVA Premiership Rugby
L Irish 18-13 Quins
L W W L W
L Irish Form
W W W L L
The match provided a platform for a number of players, from both sides, to get some needed game time, in particular those returning from injury in Jordan Turner-Hall, Joe Gray and Maurie Fa'asavalu.
At times, it seemed like they had never been away as they all put in very strong performances. Fa'asavalu was exceptional at the breakdown and in attack, bagging a try in the first half.
The Samoan flanker was brought straight into action against his opposite man Pablo Matera, winning the early collision. Despite the strong start, it was the visitors who took an early lead with a Ryan Lamb penalty.
Responding just moments later, Paul Sackey raced over for his second try of the season. Counter attacking from a Tigers clearance, Ben Botica took possession into the Tigers half. Drawing in two defenders, he offloaded the ball to Sackey. The winger made light work of Thomas Waldrom and leaving his best until last, he brushed past full-back Scott Hamilton to score. Botica's conversion was made difficult in the blustery wind; an early sign of the coming storm.
Fa'asavalu was strongly involved in his own score which occurred just before the 20 minute mark. Trampling past Terrence Hepetema, Harlequins won a penalty in the following phases. Kicking for a five metre lineout, the forward pack formed a strong rolling maul and the flanker touched down over the line. Botica's conversion missed once more as the blustery wind took control of the balls flight.
The first half concluded with Harlequins continuing their dominance; exciting breaks from Ollie Lindsay-Hague, Karl Dickson and Turner-Hall allowed their side strong go forward. Both Botica and Lamb exchanged a penalty each before the first half ended and Harlequins had a 13-6 lead at the break.
The second half provided just the one score, a try from Tom Guest. With the visitors in possession, a lofty pass from Lamb provided the perfect opportunity for the number 8 to snatch possession and run in from 60 yards. Botica's simple conversion was made and Harlequins lead 20-6, the score which would remain until the match's close.
Darryl Marfo and Kyle Sinckler entered the fray in the second half and the youngsters held their own, continuing the forwards' dominance in open play.
Louis Grimoldby was brought on early in the first half as Tom Williams was taken off with a knock. The regular fly-half put in a strong performance at full-back with creative runs and strong defence.
Harlequins will travel to Cardiff continuing players' returns from injury, while providing more opportunity for the club's young guns.
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