Match Reports

Harlequins pick up bonus point win away to Gloucester after stunning fight back

Saturday, 4th March 2017 @ 18:00

Gloucester scored first to take an early lead but tries to Tim Visser and Charlie Mulchrone gave Quins a 10-15 advantage at the break.

The Cherry and Whites dominated in the second half scoring, 17 unanswered points to lead 27-15, before an incredible fight back from John Kingston’s side.

James Chisholm closed the gap with a try in the 71st minute before his brother Ross crossed to level the scores. With the clock winding down replacement fly-half James Lang sealed the 27-30 win with a last gasp penalty set up by the Quins scrum.

After consecutive losses to Bath and Leicester Tigers, Harlequins arrived at Kingsholm knowing a victory was crucial to stay in the hunt for top flight European rugby next season.

The home side however got off to the best possible start as Charlie Sharples completes a 90 metre counter attack to send his side to a quick 7-0 lead with just three minutes gone.

Gloucester would remain on top for much of the opening quarter, but Harlequins' defence held on as they eventually worked themselves into the encounter. The penalty count edging in Quins' favour, Gloucester perhaps lucky not to be shown a card after two dangerous tackles.

In the 23rd minute Tim Visser was on hand to score his ninth try of the season as Harlequins leveled the scores with a deserved try.

Ten minutes later they would take the lead as Charlie Mulchrone capped off a 60 metre counter attack from the Londoners who were attacking from deep throughout the match. Tim Swiel missed the conversion but Quins led 7-12 after half an hour.

Before the half-time whistle sounded the fly halves exchanged penalties and Quins took a 10-15 lead into the break.

Buoyed by the 14,014 in attendance, Gloucester flew out of the blocks in the second spell in what felt like a repeat of last week’s match against Leicester Tigers at The Stoop.

David Halaifonua gave his side the lead in the 48th minute as the Cherry and Whites capitalised on a spilled ball from the visitors.

Just five minutes later Sharples completed his brace as Quins fell into a nine point hole.

It went from bad to worse as Burns quickly extended the lead to a dozen with just 25 minutes to play as he kicked his second penalty and his 12th point of the match. Gloucester making the most of their territorial dominance.

On the hour mark Harlequins finally got out of their half and a James Chisholm break set up Mat Luamanu to go over under the posts only for the TMO to rule a forward pass from the flanker.

Down the other end Gloucester went close as well before Marland Yarde’s last ditch tackle forced them into touch. The England winger contributing time and time again down the stretch.

Kingston’s side continued to show heart and belief throughout the encounter even when things weren’t falling their way. Finally, in the 71st minute, their attacking endeavor was rewarded.

A series of offloads saw Quins stream down field and hooker Richard Hibbard was shown a yellow card for killing the ball close to his line. Harlequins kicked for the corner and a few phases later James Chisholm banged over from close range to cut the gap to 27-22.

In the 75th minute they turned Gloucester over in their half and quickly found Yarde on the wing who beat his man and offloaded to Ross Chisholm to level the scores with a bonus point try.

James Lang, on for Tim Swiel, missed the conversion but he would have a second attempt before time was up.

In the 79th minute an immense Harlequins scrum saw Referee Greg Garner blow his whistle for a penalty right in front of the sticks. This time Lang would nail the kick to seal an incredible come from behind victory.

A memorable fight back from Harlequins, and a huge win as they continue to stay in the mix for a top six finish.

Next up, Harlequins travel to Sandy Park for an Anglo-Welsh semi final against Exeter Chiefs – an opportunity for them to pick up some silverware in their 150th Anniversary season.

Tickets for the Anglo-Welsh Cup Final, at The Stoop, on Sunday 19th March (kick-off 15:00) are on sale now and can be purchased by clicking here.