Match Reports

Harlequins complete part one of the Italian job with eight try victory

Saturday, 12th December 2015 @ 16:00

In the foggy setting of northern Italy’s Peroni Stadium, Harlequins re-affirmed their place at the top of Pool 3 with a well worked 10-50 victory over Calvisano in the European Rugby Challenge Cup.

Pool rivals Cardiff Blues had claimed a dramatic win over Montpellier the night before in a nine try thriller at the BT Sport Arms Park which temporarily put them in the top spot, but this victory puts Harlequins five points clear at the summit with two rounds remaining.

The Harlequins tries came from Mark Lambert, Jack Clifford, Ross Chisholm, Matt Hopper, Kyle Sinckler, Charlie Walker and a Luke Wallace brace.

A number of Harlequins’ senior and international players were rested for this match, providing an excellent opportunity for the wider squad to stake their claim for the rest of the competitive domestic and European season.

As a result, first year Academy member Archie White and summer signing Winston Stanley made their senior starting debuts, with Owen Evans making his first appearance for the Club from the bench in the second half.

This dominant result means Harlequins continue their unbeaten record in the Pool, while securing a fifth consecutive try bonus point in all competitions.

Harlequins began the match at an electric pace. Inside the first ten minutes, the Londoners already had a 0-12 lead. Two penalties conceded by Calvisano allowed Ben Botica to kick into the corner and the forwards were ruthless in taking the first opportunities presented to them.

Wallace bundled over from a rolling maul, before Mark Lambert went over from short range in the phases from another lineout set piece.

Quins were continuously gifted possession in their opponent’s half and when Augustin Cavalieri was sin binned, the dominant forward pack opted for a scrummage in the shadows of the posts. Marching forward, Clifford dotted the ball down from the base and Botica converted.

The hosts did manage to get some points of their own. When Harlequins conceded a penalty at the breakdown, fly-half Filippo Buscema scored his side’s first points, to the delight of the home support.

Keeping to a high tempo and fast style of play, Harlequins roared up field through Ross Chisholm from a scrum set piece. This allowed Harlequins to camp inside the 22 and although a number of errors crept in due to the tricky conditions, the ball was shipped wide and Chisholm gave a neat inside pass to Wallace to score his second.

The Harlequins full-back again turned provider as he put Jack Clifford through a gap a few moments later. The powerful number 8 ran up field and despite Calvisano eventually turning the ball over, Harlequins took a quick lineout from their clearing kick. Full-back Swiel found a gap from the halfway line and weaved his way into the 22. Passing to Chisholm on the right wing, the winger did well to fend a covering tackle to score in the corner. This score completed the half and the visitors lead 3-29 at the break.


It was a slow start to the second half as the fog and mist got worse. Errors from both sides broke the game down and with Harlequins clearing the bench, the midway point of the half was a very stop start affair.

It took until the 55th minute for Matt Hopper to reignite the spark into Harlequins’ game, completing a neat centre switch with Stanley to score.

The next score came from the hosts. Harlequins continually launched their attacks from deep within their half and conceded a penalty just after the hour mark. Calvisano kicked to touch and from the resulting maul, openside flanker Maxime Mbanda emerged from the pile of bodies with the ball.

Within the final quarter of the match, Harlequins capitalised on the tiring Calvisano team. Kyle Sinckler barrelled over from a rolling maul on 64 minutes, before the electric Swiel combined with Charlie Walker, who outpaced the Calvisano back three, to score under the posts. Ben Botica converted five of the eight tries to round off the 10-50 victory.

Harlequins will meet Calvisano in Round 4 at The Stoop on Saturday 19th December, kick-off 15:00. Tickets can be purchased by calling 020 8410 6010 or by clicking here.