Match Reports

Harlequins stung by Wasps in the Champions Cup

Sunday, 22nd October 2017 @ 17:30

Harlequins fell to back-to-back losses in the European Rugby Champions Cup after a clinical Wasps side ran in five tries on route to a 41-10 win at the Ricoh Arena.

The visitors had two thirds of the possession in the opening half but conceded three tries to their rivals, with only a single Marcus Smith penalty to show for their endeavour, as they trailed 21-3 at the break.

In the second half Wasps continued where they left off with two penalties before replacement Francis Saili for Quins scored with his first touch of the match. But the comeback was never on as the Coventry outfit scored a further two tries as they ran out convincing 41-10 winners.

Earlier, Harlequins arrived at the Ricoh Arena on the back of a bonus point loss to La Rochelle last weekend at The Stoop. They were facing a Wasps side on a five-match losing streak, including a 21-24 loss to Quins in September in the Aviva Premiership.

The home side however got off to the fastest start as Dan Robson scored in just the fourth minute after Man of the Match Nathan Hughes powered down the short side following an attacking line out.

Harlequins won the re-start to get themselves on the attack but the Wasps lead was soon doubled. Jimmy Gopperth charging down a kick from his opposite number Smith before speedster Christian Wade went over 70 metres down field the other way. 

Gopperth, who was perfect with the boot on the day, converting once again to give his side a 14-0 lead with just eight minutes played.

Harlequins slowly dragged themselves back into the encounter, dominating both the territory and possession stats, whilst also kicking a penalty, but they couldn’t the whitewash. Danny Care going the closest only for it to be called back for obstruction from Charlie Matthews.

With half an hour gone things went from bad to worse for John Kingston’s men as Mike Brown was shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock down before Ashley Johnson scored from the resulting lineout.

With the clock winding down on the half, Quins won multiple penalties on the Wasps goal line but they were finally bundled into touch as they headed into the break down 21-3 in a frustrating first half.

The Londoners were only back to their full allotment of players for ten minutes before Joe Marler was shown a yellow card for an off the ball foul, minutes before Gopperth kicked a penalty to stretch the lead further.

With Kingston looking to his bench, Quins finally scored a five-pointer when replacement Francis Saili ghosted through under the posts with his first touch of the ball. With an hour gone Harlequins now trailed 24-10, but the comeback was never truly on.

Just three minutes later Gopperth kicked a second penalty before left wing Josh Bassett scored in the corner to make it 34-10. Five minutes after his right wing Wade completed his brace with an intercept try as Quins slumped to a 41-10 deficit with eight minutes still on the clock.

With their tails up, Wasps looked for one more but Harlequins defence held out, only for the try scorer Saili to be knocked out whilst trying to make a tackle on Joe Launchbury. An unhappy ending to a gloomy away day for Harlequins.

They now sit bottom of Pool 1 in the Champions Club, nine points behind La Rochelle and four behind Wasps who moved into second place.

Attention now turns back to the Premiership when Harlequins host Worcester Warriors next Saturday at The Stoop, where they will be desperate to make a statement following a disappointing opening to their European campaign.

Tickets for Harlequins’ home match are available now and can be purchased by clicking here.