Match Reports

Harlequins edge Ospreys in Anglo-Welsh Cup

Friday, 11th November 2016 @ 22:15

In the second round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup Harlequins fought from behind to edge Ospreys 12-15 in Swansea.

A scrappy first half saw the home side lead 12-5 at the break thanks to Tom O'Flaherty and Dafydd Howells scores, with George Naoupu going over for the visitors.

The Welshmen failed to score in the second spell as a Charlie Matthews try, and five points from the boot of replacement Tim Swiel, were just enough for Harlequins to win 12-15.

Earlier Harlequins arrived at the St Helen’s Rugby and Cricket Ground for the first time since 2005, when Adam Jones was on the other side of the team sheets.

Harlequins lost that match 11 years ago and they were behind early in this one as well after Tom O'Flaherty dived across the whitewash in the corner. With no TMO the Referee went to his Assistant who helped award the try.

Neither side were able to produce any other clear cut chances for the next 20 minutes until the Harlequins scrum began to cause their opposition trouble. First winning them a penalty to get onto attack, before a huge scrum saw back-row Naoupu dive over for a try on his starting debut.

The scores remained level at 5-5 until the 33rd minute when local hero Jones was shown a yellow card for a high tackle. It was quickly followed by a Howells try as the hosts made use of their one man advantage.

With the try converted Ospreys headed into the break ahead 12-5.

In the second half the penalty count began to add up in Quins favour but they couldn’t make it count on the scoreboard as Ruaridh Jackson missed a sitter from right in front.

Ospreys would have opportunities to extend their lead but they were continuously stopped either by desperate Harlequins defence or costly infringments at the breakdown.

On the hour mark this would finally prove costly as three quick penalties drove the Londoners down field and Charlie Matthews would eventually cross from close range. With Tim Swiel now on, his conversion leveled the scores at 12-12.

Just under 15 minutes later Harlequins would take the lead. Charlie Walker found space down the left hand side and Ospreys were caught offside. A simple Swiel penalty followed which gave them their first lead of the match. The small crowd in attendance outraged after feeling hard done by on the offside calls at both ends of the field.

Harlequins' defence closed out the match as they picked up their first win away from home this season.

A slow start to the campaign has now seen them win six of their last eight as a big week beckons for the Club with the Maori All Blacks gracing The Stoop on Wednesday before heading back into Aviva Premiership next weekend against Leicester Tigers.