Match Reports

Quins reinforce top four position with Kingsholm win

Sunday, 2nd January 2022 @ 17:40

As predicted in the week by scrum coach Adam Jones, the day started with an in-form Gloucester pack flexing their muscles at the set-piece during the opening quarter of the match, with a travelling Quins side doing their best to halt the Cherry and Whites' momentum.

Pressure eventually told in the 20th minute as Quins’ acting captain Alex Dombrandt – in place of injured Club Captain Stephan Lewies – was penalised for a breakdown infringement, allowing Gloucester’s Scottish fly-half Adam Hastings to kick a penalty for the first points of the day for a three-point lead.

Gloucester’s continued pressure soon served the opportunity for an opening try on their second attempt. The hosts’ first chance of a score was prevented only by an immense display of individual defence lock Matt Symons, with try-saving tackle on opposition loosehead Val Rapava Ruskin knocking the ball out of his hands over the line. Sadly for Quins, a penalty in the lead up saw blindside flanker Tom Lawday shown a yellow card for infringing at the breakdown.

On their second assault Gloucester then opted for field position, kicking to the corner. The Cherry and Whites sent number eight Ruan Ackerman charging off the back of the lineout to wrestle his way through the Quins defenders to dot down for the score. Hastings added the conversion to take his side ten points ahead.

Staying in the fight despite the one-man disadvantage Quins levelled the score in the final ten minutes of the first-half, with Smith kicking a penalty as Gloucester were penalised at the breakdown before centre Luke Northmore barrelled his way over for the try off a smart attacking lineout after Lawday made his way back onto the field of play.

Smith converted Northmore’s score to make it ten points apiece. However, the try scorer was subsequently shown his marching orders for a deliberate knock-on in the final minute of the first-half, a second yellow card for Quins.

It took 24 minutes into the second period for the deadlock to be broken, with experienced half-back Care sniping around the back of a ten-man Quins driving maul - with Northmore and Player of the Match Andre Esterhuizen joining the pack in the drive - for Quins’ second score. Smith’s touchline conversion was good, putting the men in the Famous Quarters ahead for the first time of the day at 10-17 with just under quarter of an hour to go.

Smith followed up three minutes later with a second penalty of the day. With Gloucester penalised at the breakdown directly in front of their own posts, Smith extended his side’s lead to ten with 13 minutes left to play.

Gloucester struck late in the game for their second try as reserve Argentine hooker Santiago Socino dotted down off the back of a strong driving maul with just two minutes left on the clock. Hastings added the conversion to bring Gloucester within three points of Quins, with times left on the clock to steal a late win.

A stout Quins defence displayed patience before turning over possession and sending it into the stands, securing the victory while Gloucester ended the day with a losing bonus-point.

An impressive victory for the travelling Quins, with Senior Coach Tabai Matson expressing his pleasure in the victory despite playing with fourteen men for a quarter of the fixture.

Next match: Harlequins vs Exeter Chiefs. Saturday, January 8. 15:00 kick-off.