Hi, I am Freddie Cotton and I will be covering today’s action as ‘Quins’ travel to the RICOH Arena to face Wasps in round eight of this seasons Gallagher Premiership. Both sides will have to adapt to the changes of international rugby with many players representing their nations for this game week.
Champions Harlequins come into the match knowing that a win will take them to a minimum of six points above last years finalists Exeter Chiefs. The away side have won four of their six opening games, however come into todays match off the back of defeat to second place Saracens. Harlequins will want to be looking up rather than down though as a bonus point win would take them to within 10 points of league leaders Leicester Tigers with a game in hand.
Player To Watch: Will Edwards.
The Harlequins fly half comes in for England star Marcus Smith. In what has proved to be an undisputed position for Harlequins in recent times, Edwards will be hoping to replicate some of Smith’s impressive quality to help his team to victory in Coventry.
Wasps find themselves in 10th place after their opening six games of the league campaign. After reaching the Premiership final just two seasons ago, the home side will be looking to regain their mojo against a well drilled Harlequins side. However with many absentees, Wasps may have a tough task on their hands to claim victory today.
Player To Watch: Jacob Umaga.
Wasps fly half can make something happen from nothing. His teammates will be depending on him to produce some magic today and aid the home side in their pursuit of victory
Here are today’s line-ups for both sides:
1′ Wasps get the match underway with Jacob Umaga kicking deep into the Harlequins half.
2′ Deep into his own half, Tyrone Green produces an excellent clearance to pin Wasps deep into their own half.
3′ Danny Care kicks a Harlequins penalty to touch after a Wasps collapsing scrum, the home side win the resulting lineout however and reclaim possession of the ball.
6′ PENALTY CONVERTED! Wasps take the first points of the game. Harlequins are punished for not rolling away at the breakdown and Umaga coolly slots the resulting penalty through the posts from close range. Wasps 3-0 Harlequins.
10′ Harlequins intercept the ball from a Michael Le Bourgeois loose pass. ‘Quins’ break towards the Wasps try line, a series of offloads edges them closer before the attack is stalled by full back Ali Crossdale.
10′ Play is temporarily halted as Crossdale is down with concussion following his last ditch tackle to deny a Harlequins try. The fullback receives lengthy treatment from the Wasps physio before being helped from the field of play.
10′ WASPS SUBSTITUTION:
OFF- 15, Ali Crossdale
ON- 23, Marcus Watson
11′ Harlequins will resume play with a scrum just outside the Wasps twenty two metre line.
11′ WASPS TRY! Andre Esterhuizen tries an offload off his right shoulder which is intercepted by Wasps fly half Umaga. The English international weaves his way past three ‘Quins’ players before offloading to Gabriel Oghre who has a clear run through to dot down in the corner. Umaga converts from a tight angle and Wasps go ten up. Wasps 10-0 Harlequins.
18′ The visitors are really struggling from the lineout. They lose their third in a row and Le Bourgeois puts boot to ball to clear from danger for Wasps.
21′ Will Edwards kicks to the corner after a high tackle on Nick David. Harlequins finally win the lineout but are denied points on the board by Elliott Stooke who turns the ball over at the breakdown.
24′ Wasps look dangerous on the counter once again. Nizaam Carr offloads to Will Porter who embarks on a mazy run, breaking through multiple tackles before offloading again to Robin Hislop. The giant prop fails to capitalise on the move though, knocking the ball on as he goes into contact.
25′ WASPS CAPITALISE ON ANOTHER ‘QUINS’ MISTAKE! Harlequins penalised for a collapsing scrum just five metres from their try line. Wasps go through the phases before drawing a penalty from Dino Lamb for not rolling away at the ruck. Umaga resumes normal service and converts the penalty straight in front of the posts. Wasps 13-0 Harlequins.
27′ Harlequins crumble yet again in the red zone. After several phases on the Wasps try line, the ball is turned over yet again by Brad Shields.
29′ What follows the scrum is a game of hot potato; both teams conceding possession of the ball several times before Harlequins are awarded a penalty for a high tackle on Cadan Murley. The winger looks to have entered awkwardly into the tackle and will be substituted.
31′ HARLEQUINS SUBSTITUTION:
OFF- 11, Cadan Murley
ON- 23, Oscar Beard
31′ WASPS SUBSTITUTION:
OFF- 1, Robin Hislop
ON- 17, Zac Nearchou
36′ WASPS SCORE THIRD PENALTY! Umaga converts from the twenty two line to extend the point gap to sixteen after James Chisholm’s high tackle on Josh Bassett. Wasps 16-0 Harlequins.
40′ Poetry rugby on the stroke of half time by Wasps, but they are denied by the TMO! Umaga breaks the Harlequins line and is staring down the face of full back Green. What follows is a flowing move from Wasps, after several offloads Oghre puts the ball down for what he thinks is his second try of the match. TMO reviews the footage and determines Porters pass to Umanga to be forward. Play is brought back for a penalty to Harlequins.
40′ HALF TIME: WASPS 16-0 HARLEQUINS.
A dominant performance so far from the home side who will be happy going into the interval sixteen points up. Harlequins have had the chances to get on the scoreboard but have failed to capitalise on their territory in the Wasps red zone. The champions will be hoping for a big turnaround in the second half.
41′ Harlequins get the game back underway.
42′ MAGNIFICENT OFFLOAD FROM DANNY CARE! Harlequins make a quick start to the second half as Green goes over in the corner for the visitors first points of the game. Care was the architect of the move, making time stand still as he perfectly times his offload to the try scorer. Esterhuizen is unable to covert from what is a very tight angle. Wasps 16-5 Harlequins.
47′ A knock on from Zach Kibirige gives Harlequins the chance to kick to the corner. However, the winger repays his debts for conceding the penalty and springs high to prevent the kick from reaching touch. Wasps recover possession of the ball.
49′ A brain freeze moment from Care. The Harlequins captain invitingly gathers the ball in the back field from a Wasps clearance before passing forward to Green at full back. Luckily for Care the home side do not make the most of the penalty, Kibirige fumbles a simple pass and the ball bounces out for a ‘Quins’ lineout.
51′ HARLEQUINS SUBSTITUTION:
OFF- 9, Danncy Care
ON- 21 Scott Steele
55′ HARLEQUINS SUBSTITUTION:
OFF- 6, James Chisholm
ON- 20, Stephan Lewies
58′ Wasps are performing tirelessly in defence in order to maintain their lead. Yet another turnover on the five metre line prevents Harlequins from eating up the Wasps lead.
59′ HARLEQUINS SUBSTITUTION:
OFF- 3, Will Collier
ON- 18, Wilco Louw
62′ HARLEQUINS BURST BACK INTO LIFE! Newly introduced Wilco Louw offloads the ball to Luke Northmore who storms through a gap in the Wasps line and scores under the posts. Esterhuizen slots the resulting conversion as Harlequins move to within five points of the lead. Wasps 16-12 Harlequins.
63′ WASPS SUBSTITUTION:
OFF- 9, Will Porter
ON- 21, Francois Hougaard
67′ Wasps concede their fifth penalty of the game from the scrum. Harlequins have really pushed up the tempo in their search for the all important try.
68′ WASPS SUBSTITUTION:
OFF- 7, Nizaam Carr
ON- 20, Thomas Young
70′ HARLEQUINS COMPLETE COMEBACK! After several phases, the champions edge ever closer to the line before the quick wittedness of replacement Scott Steele sees Harlequins grab their third try of the second half. The tricky scrum half pick the ball up at the breakdown before darting through the gap in the Wasps defensive line in front of him and touching down under the posts. Esterhuizen converts yet again and ‘Quins’ sale into the lead. Wasps 16-19 Harlequins.
74′ Green puts ball to ground after an impressive run down the left wing but he is denied by the TMO. The full back picks the ball up on the left flank and kicks a low grubber to the corner which he then chases, reclaims, and dots down for a try. Wayne Barnes brings back the play for a Wasps penalty though after the TMO deems Umangas’ pass to Green to be forward.
76′ WASPS SUBSTITUTION:
OFF- 17, Zac Nearchou
ON- 18, Elliot Millar-Mills
80′ THE CHERRY ON THE CAKE FOR THE VISITORS! Harlequins find themselves with a four on one situation on the right hand side of the pitch. Edwards displays the quality that he has shown all game by delaying his pass, drawing in the remaining man, and putting Northmore in for the bonus point try. ‘Quins’ convert again after the try and secure the win. Wasps 16-26 Harlequins.
80′ FULL TIME: WASPS 16-26 HARLEQUINS.
The champions produce a miraculous second half performance as they topple the Wasp lead and complete the perfect comeback, scoring 26 and conceding zero. A massively disappointing result for the home side who had victory in their hands at the half time break. The loss leaves Wasps struggling in 10th place with a tricky away fixture at Gloucester next in the competition. Wasps will be looking to turn their fortunes around quickly to avoid getting sucked into a relegation scrap.
Player Of The Match: Will Edwards had a big weight on his shoulders before the match in order to fill in Marcus Smiths position in the Harlequins squad but he most definitely delivered. The ‘Quins’ fly half was involved in most of the visitors outstanding play in the second half and orchestrated their comeback, leaving them ten points from the top with a game in hand ahead of the Premiership Rugby Cup fixtures.
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