Saturday, 11th April 2015 @ 16:00
Harlequins fullback Ollie Lindsay-Hague scored a stunning match winning try in Harlequins’ dramatic 29-26 victory at The Stoop in Round 19 of the Aviva Premiership.
Having won at Kingsholm in the Premiership last November for the first time in 15 years, this victory has ensured a historic Premiership double over the West Country club.
The last twelve weeks have been a difficult period for the squad, but they showed huge mental resolve to work their way to victory and continue their fight for a top tier European place.
Greg Laidlaw put Gloucester into an early lead with a penalty kick as a result of a hugely dominant scrum, something which stayed with Gloucester for the majority of the match. Sandwiched between the Gloucester scrum-half’s second penalty was a stunning score from Charlie Walker.
Harlequins set their intent to play early on with Nick Evans taking a quick 22 drop out to keep the Gloucester defence guessing. Danny Care made a signature quick tap penalty moments later and as Aseli Tikoirotuma charged up field, he fixed the defence before Walker dotted down. Evans missed the conversion, but was able to extend the lead with a penalty on 22 minutes.
Evans added his second penalty with the half hour approaching, but Gloucester took the lead when James Hook side stepped Evans in the 22 to set up Bill Meakes’ try; the simple conversion gave the visitors a two point lead.
Under the cosh in the scrums, Joe Marler was sent to the sin-bin for repeat team infringements in the set piece, but despite the one man deficit, Harlequins expertly held out the Gloucester attack and at half-time Gloucester lead 11-13.
The first half had been a relatively tame affair, but the second would develop into a far more heated and confrontational battle. Starting at electric pace, Yarde raced down one wing, before Jonny May responded down the other.
Gloucester’s captain Billy Twelvetrees sliced through the Harlequins defence and camped his side on the five metre line. Winning a penalty and opting for a scrum, Quins returned to 15 men. From the set piece, Gloucester worked to the right and Meakes’ wide pass allowed Sharples to cross the whitewash on 50 minutes.
In the following ten minutes, Laidlaw and Evans exchanged kicks giving the visitors a 17-21 on the hour mark. Harlequins were dealt a blow when Jack Clifford was sent to the sin bin for a late charge on Sharples.
Gloucester were then punished with two yellow cards in quick succession, first Ross Moriarty was shown yellow and when Harlequins looked to capitalise on the advantage, Sharples was punished for a deliberate knock-on.
The numerical advantage was now in Harlequins’ favour and Yarde made it count. The hosts had pressurised the Gloucester line with numerous rolling mauls and the winger bundled over the line from the rear.
Luke Wallace secured a vital turnover in midfield which preceded a break from Chris Robshaw. The ball then flowed through the hands of Care, Tikoirotuma, Ugo Monye and finally into the hands of Lindsay-Hague to score.
The visitors did claim a losing bonus point in the 79th minute. With Harlequins fighting for the try bonus point, they were too eager in defence, which allowed Dan Robson to score.