Harlequins too good for Wasps
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: Harlequins staved off a second-half fightback from Wasps to taste a 20-13 victory in the Premiership Big Game 11 at Twickenham Stadium.
Spurred on by a huge 80 000-strong crowd at the Home of Rugby, Paul Gustard’s side took just 49 seconds to open the scoring when the in-form Alex Dombrandt finished in the corner after some smart line-out work from Dave Ward.
The try was the young blindside flanker’s seventh in 10 appearances for Quins and the fastest of the Premiership season so far.
💯 with the boot today
— Harlequins 🃏🎆 #BigGame11 29th December (@Harlequins) December 29, 2018
Despite their slow start, Wasps were presented with an opportunity to fashion their way back into what had swiftly become a fiery encounter when Ward was binned for an incident involving Thomas Young.
Yet with the home defence holding firm, two further penalties from the unerring boot of Marcus Smith saw Quins assume a 13-3 lead at the break.
The clash between the two rivals was evenly poised, and Wasps set up a tense final quarter when substitute Will Stuart powered over from close range.
However, with the pressure on, Harlequins once again exhibited their set piece prowess to land the decisive blow. A rolling line-out culminated in Danny Care’s grubber kick sending Joe Marchant under the posts.
Wasps spent much of the final throes of the game on the front foot in vain, with some stoic Harlequins defending helping them to see out the win.
Tries: Dombrandt, Marchant
Cons: Smith 2
Pens: Smith 2
Pens: Daly, Sopoaga
Yellow card: Dave Ward (Harlequins, 10)
Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Nathan Earle, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Francis Saili, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Danny Care, 8 James Chisholm (captain), 7 Jack Clifford, 6 Alex Dombrandt, 5 Ben Glynn, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Dave Ward, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Max Crumpton, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Will Collier, 19 George Merrick, 20 Renaldo Bothma, 21 Charlie Mulchrone, 22 James Lang, 23 Gabriel Ibitoye.
Wasps: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Josh Bassett, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Michael Le Bourgeois, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Brad Shields (captain), 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Will Rowlands, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Tom Cruse, 1 Ben Harris.
Replacements: 16 Antonio Harris, 17 Zurabi Zhvania, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Ben Morris, 21 Craig Hampson, 22 Billy Searle, 23 Juan de Jongh.
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant Referees: Hamish Smales & Phil Watters.
TMO: Sean Davey.