February 17 2004
A convincing performance by a strong reserve team saw off Wasps by 64 – 22. After a first half in which Quins had to absorb good pressure from a Wasps pack which kept the visitors in touch at 19 – 10 at half-time, the floodgates opened and a further six tries followed as Quins made sure of victory.
|Almost from the start it was clear that Quins would look to run the
ball while the Wasps pack sought to batter their way through the defensive
line. After only seven minutes a sweeping attack by the backs led by Tom
Allen and Matt Moore was stopped short of the line but recycled and Kai
Horstmann finished the move under the posts.
Josh Taumololo added the extra points with the first of his nine successful kicks out of ten. Returning from injury and in the unfamiliar position of fly-half and having the kicking duties, the conversion was the start of a personal haul of 24 points capped by a try added to the successful kicks. His kicking from the tee was a revelation, all but one which drifted late past the near post, going straight and true between the posts.
Ten minutes later and from a scrum just inside the Quins half, Ben Willis stood off the scrum after feeding the ball, received it from Horstmann and took off at speed for the try line. As he was about to be tackled his pass to Cracknell provided the flanker with a simple try and stretched the lead to 14 – 0.
Wasps first score came from a well struck penalty from 30 metres by Defty. But from the restart Quins struck again. Wasps knocked on and the ball fell to Matt Moore whose weaving run evaded several defenders to reach the line. The conversion was missed.
A good run by Wasps’ winger, Roberts, converted by Defty, cut their deficit to 19 – 10 and was followed by a fine Quins’ attack which was stopped just short of the line. Wasps ran the ball from their own in-goal area and with the referee ignoring a blatant crossing offence, their fly-half was away on a run the full length of the field. The certain try was only saved by a superb tackle into touch within feet of the line by Luke Sherriff . There was no further score in the first half.
A penalty kicked by Taumololo early in the second half increased the lead before the regular try scoring began. A rolling maul to the line saw Ceri Jones dive over. Then from a scrum inside the Wasps twenty-two on the right the ball popped out was picked up by Willis whose reverse flick behind his back to Tom Williams allowed the full-back to sweep through the defence and score.
Further tries followed from Josh Taumololo, Mike Brown (replacing the injured Rob Jewell), Scott Bemand, and Duncan James. Wasps managed an interception try by Wellwood and a late breakaway try by Shaw but were soundly beaten by a good strong Quins side.
Simon Miall, returning from injury and playing for the first time after
five months, played the whole game and felt that he was rapidly returning
to full match fitness. Josh Taumololo had an excellent game and his
kicking was a revelation. Ben Willis was sharp and showed a return to
form. The puzzle of the evening is how Tom Williams came to be omitted
from the England U21 team after his performance against Natal Sharks and
his form in the reserves
Once again this was a very entertaining match which amply demonstrated the great strength in depth which Quins now have available.
Harlequins : T. Williams, S. Crowley, T. Allen, R. Jewell, M. Moore, J. Taumalolo, B. Willis, C. Jones, C. Dott, L. Gomez, S. Miall, B. Davison, C. Cracknell, L. Sherriff, K. Hortsmann
Replacements: T. Muggridge, R. Dejager, R. Winters, G. Hart, S. Bemand, M. Brown, D. James
London Wasps: R. Laird, M. Ireland, J. Wellwood, M. Denney, M. Roberts, N. Defty, H. Biljon, T. French, B. Gotting, H. Nwume, J. Dunne, S. Green, J. Lumby, J. Barrett, I. Clarke
Replacements: R. Shaw, M. Whitehead, N. Wardingley, L. Brown, J. Filler, J. Lovreta, R. Lawrence, S. Philips