Harlequin Amateurs suffered their first competitive loss of the season on Saturday, going down to a sharp looking Quintin team at the semi final stage of the MMT Bowl.
The game couldn’t have started any better for Quins when the kick off landed directly in touch, and from the resulting scrum Adam Wallace made a great break to set up Ben Morris to score within 90 seconds. If this was the perfect start for Quins, Quintin couldn’t have asked for a better response. Quins were still patting themselves on the back when Quintin got the game back underway. With the kick headed over to the opposite side to the Quins’ pack, the ball was just about gathered, but with such an aggressive line press Quintin were able to turn the ball over and run over to score. With the conversion made, the scores were at 5-5 after 2 minutes.
The game then became an arm wrestle, with both teams doing everything they could to get the upper hand. With the home sides large pack just about having the advantage over Quins more mobile forwards, the visitors were forced into conceding multiple penalties, two of which were converted by their 12, sandwiching another try for Quintin, bringing the score to 16-7. Just before half time Quins were able to reduce the deficit with a three pointer of their own. HT, 16-10.
The second half continued in much the same vein as the first - both teams trying to find chinks in the opposition armour. The home sides’ resolute defence, coupled with Quins’ insistence that the offload was on, meant the Quintin were first on the board in the second period with a 7 pointer to extend their lead to 23-10.
As the game went on, Quins started to find their feet in the game. Despite being a man down due to a naughty boy being sent to the bin, Quins got themselves over the whitewash through a short range “pick and drive” from Number 8 Danny O’Connor. James Summersett successfully converting to make it 23-17. Credit must go to Quintin. Every time Harlequins felt themselves getting back into it, Quintin would extend their lead, this time with a well taken penalty to take the scores to 26-17.
Quins really started to turn up at this point and with fitness starting to become a factor, the visiting team found themselves camped in Quintin territory. Again from a pick and drive, Lock Will O’Donnell was able to muscle over for a try with the last play of the game.
The final whistle blew at 26-22 and Quintin were through to the final to face London New Zealand.
Best of luck!
A tough loss, with added salt to the wound with the news that Prop Idol Harry Stark will miss the rest of the season with a nasty knee injury.
Unusually, Harlequins do have the opportunity for revenge over Quintin next week when the two teams meet again in Chiswick for their MMT3 fixture.
This week's TES sponsored Man of the Match goes to Adam Wallace for a strong showing on his return to the team.
DoD goes to Sean Gorman for his ten minutes in the sin bin...beers are on the way lads!