Match Reports

Harlequins thrash Stade Francais in Challenge Cup opener

Thursday, 13th October 2016 @ 19:45

Harlequins remained unbeaten at home this season as a try scoring blitz secured an early bonus point on route to a 43-21 victory over Stade Francais.

The hard work was done in the first half as Joe Marler, Joe Marchant and Tim Visser scored tries while Man of the Match James Chisholm scored a brace and secured a 31-7 lead.

In the second spell the visitors had the majority of the possession and territory but they were never in the match as Visser would first cross for his brace before Marland Yarde sealed the match late.

Harlequins running out 43-21 winners as they picked up their third victory from their last four matches.


It was the third year in a row that Harlequins kicked off the European season, as they looked to impress in a tournament that has been kind to them over the years, including the final appearance last season.

Harlequins would get off to the best possible start as they would turn down three points early and opt to kick the ball into touch. A huge maul from the resulting line out saw Joe Marler crash over for a 5-0 lead.

The Londoners faced some pressure following the try but their back row would come up big time and time again as Luke Wallace and Chris Robshaw both made big turnovers to halt momentum.

In the 18th minute a floated Tim Swiel pass would free Visser, who chipped over the top. As Jules Plisson tried to escape his corner he through an errant pass and Joe Marchant was there to collect and score.

Almost immediately from the restart Visser would be involved again, breaking from his own half and offloading to Mike Brown. The England fullback would keep his defender on skates with a swerving run before passing back to his Dutch teammate to score under the posts.

Harlequins would concede a soft try to Sekou Macalou but it was but a blip on a fantastic first 40 minutes.

Yarde, whose mistake set up the Stade try, would cut through the French defence before the ball was spread wide to back row James Chisholm who powered over from 15 metres out.

The 21-year-old would quickly claim his brace as he found space on the short side following a Harlequins line out and he would give his side a stunning 31- 7 lead at the break.


With the match all but sewn up Harlequins spent much of the second half defending but they will be proud of their defensive effort.

Marler and Will Collier putting in numerous crunching tackles around the breakdown while the backline scrambled to keep the Stade attack scoreless for the first 20 minutes. Their best opportunity snaffled by Visser who ran 95 metres the other way to score his second.

On the hour mark Clement Daguin would close the gap which was followed ten minutes later by back row Willem Alberts barrelling over from close range.

While still 15 points down the visitors were in striking distance of both bonus points but Harlequins would win a turnover on their own line followed by back to back scrum penalties to keep them at bay.

A fantastic night under the lights at The Stoop was finished off with the seventh Harlequins try as Marland Yarde crossed following a Mat Luamanu bust through the tired Stade Francais backline

The match finished 43-21 as Harlequins fly to the top of the Pool 5 standings with a bonus point win over their rivals.

They now travel away to Edinburgh next Saturday knowing a win away  from home will set them up nicely before they head into back to back matches against Timisoara Saracens in December.