Bok's red card can't stop Quins
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: Not even Springbok Andre Esterhuizen’s dismissal in the 45th minute could stop Harlequins from a 34-24 victory over Gloucester in a pulsating game at Kingsholm.
The South African was shown red for an elbow to the face, but it did not stop Quins’ momentum as they ran out convincing winners over an injury-ravaged Gloucester.
Alex Dombrandt scored two tries for Harlequins, James Chisholm and Nathan Earle the others, with Marcus Smith converting all four and adding a penalty and a drop goal.
Gloucester’s James Hansen helped himself to a brace of tries while Ed Slater also crossed the whitewash. Billy Twelvetrees kicked a penalty and a conversion with Jacob Morris adding two more conversions.
Harlequins made a bright start to take the lead with an excellent try in the fourth minute. First Smith chipped over the defence for Esterhuizen to collect and when the ball was recycled, Smith was again in the action to send skipper Dombrandt powering over.
Smith converted before Twelvetrees kicked a straightforward penalty to put the hosts on the scoreboard.
The game exploded in the 19th minute where almost all the players were involved in a “hand-bags at dawn scenario” where two yellow cards were issued to both loosehead props Jamal Ford-Robinson and Santiago Garcie Botta.
The visitors had the upper hand in the first quarter and extended their league vis a Smith penalty but Gloucester responded with their opening try when Ruan Ackermann sent Slater over in the corner.
Twelvetrees proceed to slot a breath-taking kick from the touchline and brought the scores level just before both props returned from the sin bin.
Sadly Twelvetrees match was over when he had to leave the field with a leg injury eight minutes before half time.
With Chisholm crashing over from close range and the try being converted by Smith the visitors were now 17-10 ahead.
Gloucester replaced Joe Simpson and Jack Stanley at the interval but five minutes after the restart Esterhuizen was sent off after countless TMO replays.
Two minutes later Quins lock Glen Young was sin-binned for collapsing a driving maul but this was offset by Gloucester’s already disrupted back division losing their flyhalf Lloyd Evans to injury.
With only thirteen players on the field Quins conjured up a third try from another well-judged kick from Smith which resulted in Earle winning the foot race for the touchdown.
Young returned from the sin-bin just in time to see his side score their bonus-point try when their opponents failed to deal with an up-and-under from Danny Care and Dombrandt was on hand to race away for his second.
Even though the game was pretty much over for Gloucester they manfully rallied and managed to score two close range tries from replacement hooker Hanson before Smith put the final nail in the coffin with a fine drop-goal.
Try: Hansen 2, Slater
Con: Twelvetrees, Morris 2
Try: Dombrandt 2, Chisholm, Earle
Con: Smith 4
Drop Goal: Smith
Yellow cards: Santiago Garcia Botta (Harlequins, 19), Jamal Ford-Robinson (Gloucester, 19), Glen Young (Harlequins, 48), Lewis Ludlow (Gloucester, 78)
Red card: Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins, 46)
Gloucester: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Ollie Thorley, 13 Billy Twelvetrees (captain), 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Tom Seabrook, 10 Lloyd Evans, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Lewis Ludlow, 6 Jordy Reid, 5 Matt Garvey, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Jack Stanley, 2 Jack Singleton, 1 Jamal Ford-Robinson
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Val Rapava-Ruskin, 18 Ciaran Knight, 19 Alex Craig, 20 Freddie Clarke, 21 Will Flinn, 22 Henry Trinder, 23 Kyle Moyle
Harlequins: 15 Chris Ashton, 14 Nathan Earle, 13 Luke Northmore, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Danny Care, 8 Alex Dombrandt (captain), 7 Will Evans, 6 James Chisholm, 5 Glen Young, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Santiago Garcia Botta
Replacements: 16 Elia Elia, 17 Jordan Els, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 Hugh Tizard, 20 Tom Lawday, 21 Scott Steele, 22 Tyrone Green, 23 Paul Lasike
Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant Referees: Greg Macdonald & Phil Watters.
TMO: Rowan Kitt