Match Reports

Harlequins secure bonus point win away to Cardiff Blues

Thursday, 19th November 2015 @ 22:30



An incredible second half performance saw Harlequins score four tries in the second spell to remain perfect in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, running out 20-32 victors over Cardiff Blues.

After a slow start, the Londoners found themselves down 6-0 with 30 minutes gone as the hosts had all the territory. Ben Botica closed the gap to 6-3 as Harlequins got themselves back into the game but they went into half trailing by three.

Once again they proved rugby is a game of two halves as tries to Tim Visser, Ollie Lindsay-Hague and Charlie Walker gave them a comfortable lead. In a see-saw final ten minutes there was action at both ends of the park before Danny Care scored the bonus point try at the final whistle.

Both sides had recorded big wins in the opening round of the Challenge Cup last week but it was the home side that got on top early. All the rugby was played in Harlequins half to start the match and two Rhys Patchell penalties gave Cardiff a deserved 6-0 lead after half an hour.

Harlequins refused to alter their game plan however and they kept ball in hand for the majority of the half as they finally drove down field to set Botica up with a penalty, after earlier hitting the posts with an attempt. 

Cardiff would feel hard done by with a close range try being denied in the first half but heading into the break with the score at 6-3 it was all to play for in Pool 3.

As they did versus Montpellier last Thursday Quins burst out of the blocks in the second spell. First with a second Botica penalty before Tim Visser intercepted a pass in the Cardiff half to go in under the posts almost untouched. Following the conversion, Harlequins suddenly led 6-13.

The lead was extended just two minutes later as the game began to open up. Botica found room down the right hand side and passed  inside to Ollie Lindsay-Hague whose pace was unstoppable as he went over for a converted try as well.

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Charlie Walker was the next of the Harlequins back three to score, this time a close range effort as Dave Ward and Danny Care combined well from a broken maul. Ward on as a replacement openside flanker after both James Chisholm and Jack Clifford went off in the first half (the latter to a nasty head knock).

With Harlequins ahead 6-25, and still 15 minutes to play, they went searching for their second bonus point in as many weeks. It was Cardiff however who would score next, starting off a frantic final ten minutes.

They first scored through a penalty try after Harlequins collapsed a maul close to the line, but as they looked to close the gap further Matthew Rees was shown a red card for a vicious stamp on Nick Easter.

One man down but Cardiff didn’t relent scoring through Sam Hobbs in the 79th which looked set to secure them at least a losing bonus point. Moments later however, Danny Care was in at the other end to not only stop the Blues from gaining the vital point, but securing an additional one for themselves in the process.

The Final score 20-32 as Harlequins fought back for a memorable win at Cardiff Arms Park with Dave Ward picking up the Man of the Match award for his unlikely turn as an openside.

Harlequins next face Exeter Chiefs away in nine days time before returning to The Stoop to face London Irish in what should be a memorable encounter. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased by clicking here