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NEC Harlequins 2ndXV 56 - 15 Bristol United

By AlanQuin
September 20 2005

It took Harlequins 2nd XV just 40 minutes to notch up the bonus point which their seven try victory over Bristol provided and that took them back to the top of the Southern section of the Guinness A League. The final score was 56 points to 15.

It was obvious from the kick-off that Quins meant business. From the catch, the forwards started a rolling maul which careered almost 40 metres towards the Bristol line. A well-placed grubber kick through by Jarvis just failed to find either Amesbury or Williams and went into touch. The resultant line-out was stolen by Quins and passed towards the centre. A ruck formed just short of the line and Steve So’olialo darted over for the try between the posts. The conversion was easily kicked by Adrian Jarvis and Quins were 7 – 0 up in the first minute.

Bristol attempted to come back and after another five minutes were awarded a penalty which Gray kicked to bring the score back to 7 – 3. Quins’ response was almost immediate when as poor clearance gave them a line-out inside the Bristol twenty-two and immediately after a penalty which Jarvis kicked to restore the seven point advantage and increased it shortly after with another penalty. 13 – 3. 

Elementary unforced errors by Bristol and poor handling gave Quins positional advantages which they should not have had. The Quins’ backs were playing with pace and invention and always looked dangerous and only desperate defence prevented tries on more than one occasion. The line-outs were dominated by Quins who frequently stole Bristol ball. 

Harder and Dippy both go for the same ball  ©Andy Hancock
Harder and Dippy both go for the same ball ©Andy Hancock

Eventually, as the second quarter began a fine miss pass from Jarvis found Tom Guest wide on the right and he beat two tacklers before being stopped but managed to offload to Tom Williams on his right for the full-back to cross under the posts. Jarvis added the conversion. 20 – 3.

Williams heads for the line  ©Andy Hancock
Williams heads for the line ©Andy Hancock

Some eight minutes later, Bristol turned over the ball at a ruck and a kick and chase by David Lemi in a tight race with Tom Williams saw neither touch down but Bristol, somewhat fortunately, were awarded a penalty try after a collision between the two chasing players. The easy conversion brought the score to 20 – 10. But from the restart, the Quins’ chasers were adjudged to have been obstructed and Jarvis added three points from a penalty. 23 – 10

GummyChesterQuin working hard ©Prof
GummyChesterQuin working hard ©Prof

Quins continued to attack with several good runs from both backs and forwards. A kick through by Turner-Hall was fiercely followed up by him and gained Quins a penalty in a kickable position. On this occasion Jarvis found touch in the Bristol twenty-two on the right. From the line-out the ball passed along the line to Masson who jinked through three tackles to touch down for the third try and Jarvis again added the points. 30 – 10.

Tosh Masson scores  ©Andy Hancock
Tosh Masson scores ©Andy Hancock

As the first half drew to an end a quickly tapped penalty saw Chris Robshaw break clear through the Bristol defence and canter twenty-five metres to score the fourth try and produce the desired bonus point. Jarvis again converted and with the score at 37 – 10 the half-time whistle must have been music to Bristol ears.

Robshaw scores his first try  ©BarQuin Mad
Robshaw scores his first try ©BarQuin Mad

Quins brought on most of their substitutes at half-time without any noticeable loss of pace or pressure, and they opened the scoring for the second half after six minutes when a pick up by Turner-Hall and pass to Charlie Amesbury put the winger away down the left for an excellent try, Jarvis again converted. 44 – 10 Quins continued to pressure their opponents and an excellent run and kick through might have resulted in a try but the ball went dead before it could be touched down.

Charlie Amesbury goes over for his first try  ©BarQuin Mad
Charlie Amesbury goes over for his first try ©BarQuin Mad

Bristol now made a number of substitutions and only very determined defence prevented further Quins’ scores. Then, fifteen minutes into the half, a penalty was kicked to touch well into the Bristol twenty-two and the rolling maul that resulted from the line-out saw Chris Robshaw pushed over the line for his second try. For the first time in the match and after eight successful kicks, Jarvis’ touchline conversion attempt drifted across the face of the goal. 49 – 10

Robshaw scores again  ©Andy Hancock
Robshaw scores again ©Andy Hancock

Bristol now had their best period of play and began to exert great pressure on the Quins’ defence. The principal architect of that pressure was undoubtedly the substitute scrum-half, the Fijian international Jacob Rauiluni. This pressure was eventually rewarded by a try from Pritchard but the conversion was missed. 49 – 15.

Quins again responded and only three minutes later, quick ball from a scrum to Jarvis and then Harder saw Charlie Amesbury again scorch down the wing for his second try of the night. The successful conversion brought the final score to 56 - 15.

Charlie Amesbury scores again  ©BarQuin Mad
Charlie Amesbury scores again ©BarQuin Mad

After the match, Dean Richards was clearly pleased with what he had seen and expressed the view that there were a number of Quins’ youngsters playing who would be acceptable to any Premiership Club, Any observer of Harlequins activities in the A league over the past two seasons could have confirmed that. The result takes Harlequins to the top of the Southern table one point ahead of next week’s opposition, London Irish and Gloucester who trounced Wasps but wh have a game in hand.

Harlequins : 15. Tom Williams, 14. Charlie Amesbury, 13. Tosh Masson, 12. Jordan Turner-Hall, 11. George Harder, 10. Adrian Jarvis, 9. Steve So’oialo, 1. Aston Croall, 2. Jimmy Richards, 3. Lorne Ward, 4. Pablo Bouza, 5. Kevin Burke, 6. Chris Robshaw, 7. Tom Guest, 8. Tony Diprose
Replacements: 16. Dave Millard, 17. Jake Hayes, 18. James Inglis, 19. George Robson, 20. Duncan James, 21. Luther Marais, 22. Justin Jones

Tries: So’oialo, Williams, Masson, Robshaw (2), Amesbury (2)
Conversions: Jarvis (6)
Penalties: Jarvis (3)

Bristol United: 15. Sean Marsden, 14. Marko Stanojevic, 13. Sam Cox, 12. Mark Denney, 11. David Lemi, 10. Danny Gray, 9. Greg Nicholls, 1. Tom Fidler, 2. Neil Clark, 3. Wayne Thompson, 4. Olly Kohn, 5. Dave Bufton, 6. Rik Martin-Redman, 7. Chris Morgan, 8. Alex Mockford
Replacements: 16. Danny Howick, 17. Alun Hiett, 18. Dave Attwood, 19. Redford Pennycook, 20. Jacob Rauluni, 21. Jon Pritchard, 22. Andy Reay

Tries: Penalty, Pritchard
Conversion: Marsden
Penalty: Gray

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