Rona double helps Exiles ease past Harlequins
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: Curtis Rona scored two tries as London Irish claimed a comfortable 29-15 Premiership victory over Harlequins at The Stoop.
Quins came into the game sitting sixth in the table and with a five-point cushion on an Irish outfit occupying 10th.
It would be the visitors who made the first impression on the scoreboard – Matt Rogerson doing well to take a scrappy ball and touch down out wide with seven minutes played before Stephen Myler slotted the conversion.
The home side hit back through a Marcus Smith penalty but were soon on the back foot as Rona scythed through their defence to score under the posts.
Myler added the extras as well as a further penalty before the half-time interval to ensure Irish went in with a healthy 17-3 lead at the break.
Having played with the wind at their backs in the first period, Irish knew they would face a sterner test after the restart.
Their resilience was broken with 52 minutes on the clock as Alex Dombrandt powered over and Smith made it a maximum score from the kicking tee to make it 17-10.
Hopes of a revival lasted just 11 minutes, however, after Rona charged down a clearing kick to notch his second and the infallible Myler was again on target from the conversion.
Quins would hit back through Cadan Murley’s score, but the last word was left to Oliver Hoskins who sealed the bonus-point at the death.
Tries: Dombrandt, Murley
For London Irish:
Tries: Rona 2, Rogerson, Hoskins
Cons: Myler 3
Harlequins: 15 Aaron Morris, 14 Ross Chisholm, 13 Cadan Murley, 12 Paul Lasike, 11 Gabriel Ibitoye, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Alex Dombrandt, 7 Will Evans, 6 James Chisholm (captain), 5 Matt Symons, 4 Glen Young, 3 Will Collier, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Santiago Garcia Botta
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 Tevita Cavubati, 20 Semi Kunatani, 21 Danny Care, 22 Brett Herron, 23 Niall Saunders
London Irish: 15 Ben Loader, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Terrence Hepetema, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Albert Tuisue, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Matt Rogerson, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Franco van der Merwe (captain), 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Dave Porecki, 1 Harry Elrington
Replacements: 16 Ben Atkins, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Steve Mafi, 20 Ben Donnell, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Matt Williams, 23 James Stokes
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant Referees: Mike Hudson & Greg Macdonald.
TMO: Sean Davey.