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Author Topic: Match Report: Harlequins vs Bristol  (Read 362 times)

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DOK

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Match Report: Harlequins vs Bristol
« on: Wednesday 06-Mar-2019, 21:56* »
Harlequins vs Bristol - Saturday 23rd February
By Bedfordshire Boy

Blue sky with bright sunshine, a great day to head to The Stoop to watch the resurgent Quins team attempt to make amends for the defeat by Bristol Bears earlier in the season. Set off with plenty of time which was just as well as we got held up in the aftermath of a five car shunt on the M25 which added an extra thirty minutes to the journey. Three changes for Quins from the team that beat Worcester last weekend, missing Danny Care and Gabriel Ibitoye through injury and Max Crumpton who is out due to a four week ban who were replaced by Charlie Mulchrone, Ross Chisholm and Elia Elia respectively. Mat Symons rested?

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Kick Off

Bristol fly half Callum Sheedy got the game underway and with a very lively start it was very clear that Bristol had come to play rugby. The first penalty of the game was awarded to Quins after 3 minutes, the ball is kicked to touch and although the ball is overthrown, Quins still managed to retain it and a promising run down the right wing by Jack Clifford is called back for a forward pass. Most of the game is taking place within Quins territory but Bristol are unable to make real progress to the Quins try line with the Quins defence holding up well. Quins get some respite when from another penalty they kick for a line out just short of the Bristol line, set up a catch and drive but the ball is turned over for a Bristol scrum. Bristol play the ball out of their own half, Sheedy breaks through the Quins defence and eventually kicks ahead with the Quins defence eventually stopping the initial attack a few metres out. Bristol retain the ball and with the Quins defence drawn in the ball is shipped wide to the left side where Bristol fullback Piutau steps past a Quins defender to score. For some reason the referee calls the TMO into action but after several minutes with no sign of a replay being available the try is awarded.

Sheedy adds the two extra points so after 10 minutes of play Quins find them seven points behind. The lead is very short lived as Bristol fail to deal with the restart properly, the loose ball goes to Mulchrone who passes to Joe Marchant whose neat kick to the corner is touched down by Ross Chisholm. A far from convincing kick from Marcus Smith wide out is good enough to earn the two extra points, score seven points each after 12 minutes. Bristol continue to have most of the play and the territory and they are rewarded after 18 minutes of play as they draw the Quins defence in field leaving Nathan Earle exposed allowing a long pass to winger Leiua who touches down in the corner. The conversion attempt from Sheedy is pulled wide so the score remains Quins 7 Bristol 12.

Bristol try to play their way out of their twenty two but the ball is once again fumbled resulting in a Quins scrum 30 metres from the Bristol line. Quins are getting back into the game and a strong run through the centre by Alex Dombrandt whose pass to Ben Glynn shows the Bristol defence under some pressure as they scramble the ball into touch 5 metres from their line. Quins catch and drive, then play the ball through the backs and a very neat dummy from Marcus Smith allows him to slip through the Bristol defence for a try. Smith converts his own try which sees Quins take the lead for the first time in the match after 25 minutes, Quins 14 Bristol 12. Quins get the ball safely to touch on half way from the restart but Bristol continue their very direct game testing the Quins defence.

Quins score their third try of the day six minutes later as they attack down the left hand side and a superb offload from Elia finds Ross Chisholm who passes off the ground to Mike Brown who only has to fall over to score. Smith fails with the attempted conversion from the touchline so the Quins total moves on to nineteen points. Yet again Bristol press and a try saving tackle from Mike Brown keeps them at bay.  It is another Bristol mistake that leads to Quins next score as Ben Glynn picks up the loose ball on half way, heads for the try line and as he runs out of steam on the twenty two, Joe Marchant is on hand to run in and score under the posts. Two very easy points from the boot of Marcus Smith and with four minutes to half time Quins have secured a try bonus point and increased their lead to fourteen points. Half time score Quins 26 Bristol 12. Very much a rerun of last weeks game against Worcester with the opposition dominating possession and territory and the home side scoring each time that they made serious inroads into the Bristol half.

One change for Bristol at half time with Harry Thatcher coming on at hooker as Smith gets the second half underway. All a bit scrappy from both sides as they set up to attack and invariably lose the ball in the tackle until a penalty for a high tackle by Joe Marchant concedes a penalty which Bristol kick deep into the Quins half. Bristol set up a prolonged attack within the Quins five metre area but yet again turn the ball over allowing Mulchrone to find touch on their twenty two. Eight minutes into the half and George Smith is replaced for Bristol and Lewis Boyce and James Lang replace Joe Marler and Marcus Smith for Quins, tactical changes as far as I could see. Bristol attack yet again from the line out and a huge tackle by Dombrandt relieves the pressure resulting in a Quins scrum on their twenty two. A huge kick from Lang gets the ball back into the Bristol twenty two, Bristol slowly play their way back up the pitch and a kick is well taken by Mike Brown who gets the ball to ground to give Quins a scrum just inside the Bristol half. Bristol replace their scrum half as Quins set up multiple phases of attack from the scrum which comes to an end when an attempted chip by James Lang goes straight into touch.

Another handling error by Bristol as they try to find a way through the Quins defence results in another Quins scrum which allows James Chisholm to come on to the field to replace Jack Clifford who had had another industrious game. Quins attack from the scrum but another spilled ball in the tackle allows Bristol to kick the ball deep into the Quins half eventually finding touch 5 metres out from the Quins line. Seventeen minutes into the second half and no addition to the six trys scored during the first half. Quins clear their line and Dave Ward replaces Elia for Quins as another long kick by Lang takes play deep into the Bristol half. Bristol fullback Piutau makes a break through the Quins midfield and while the Quins defence are on the back foot Bristol number ten Sheedy is set free to run through and score under the posts. Sheedy converts his own score allowing Bristol to creep closer to the Quins total as the game enters the final quarter, Quins 26 Bristol 19. This a signal for more Quins changes with Swainston, Merrick and Lewis replacing Collier, Glynn and Mulchrone respectively followed a few minutes later by Francis Saili replacing Ben Tapaui. Neither side seems able to keep hold of the ball and Quins eventually get a chance to add to their score when Bristol are penalised for playing the ball on the ground. Lang takes his chance well to take Bristol out of the losing bonus point range, Quins 29 Bristol 19 with thirteen minutes left to play.

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James Lang Prepares For A Three Pointer

Quins play clever rugby by keeping the pressure on Bristol by making them play deep in their own half and are eventually rewarded by a penalty which Lang kicks to the corner. Quins catch and drive is well defended by Bristol who turn the steal possession but luckily Quins force them into touch before making much ground. The line out leads to Quins next score as following good runs by Robshaw, Saili and James Chisholm a bit of space is created for Nathan Earle to touch down in the corner. A very good kick from Lang moves the score on to Quins 36 Bristol 19 with three minutes left on the clock. Quins run the ball out of their twenty two from the restart but spill the ball on the halfway line for a Bristol scrum. Bristol move the ball quickly along the backs resulting in a try in the left corner for winger for Leiua, his second of the match, following a neat chip through the defence by replacement fly half Madigan. A very good kick by Madigan brings the final score of the match to Quins 36 Bristol 26 with Bristol earning a try bonus point.

For the second week running Quins score a try bonus point in the first half but also leak too many trys. It seems that the Quins defence is solid when the game is structured but becomes vulnerable when play becomes more loose and Bristol certainly had the players to take advantage. If Bristol could take care of the ball a lot better they could become a very dangerous outfit. Quins game plan appears to be to play the game in the right areas of the pitch as well as relying upon good defence, a plan that is paying dividends as they chalked up their fourth consecutive win in the premiership. Cannot think of any Quins player who had a bad game and the whole squad contributed to the victory with Joe Marchant being singled out as Man Of The Match. All in all a very enjoyable afternoon in the sun for the majority of the 13,167 attendees. Dare we start to dream of what might be in store at the end of the season? The trip to The Rec next weekend will be a good pointer as to the true progress that Quins squad has made this season.

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Comet

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Re: Match Report: Harlequins vs Bristol
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 08:28* »
Terrific, thank you.

deadlyfrom5yardsout

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Re: Match Report: Harlequins vs Bristol
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 07-Mar-2019, 10:53* »
Good work, thanks

Nico Wilson

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Re: Match Report: Harlequins vs Bristol
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 30-Apr-2019, 09:39* »
Nice write up, thank you

 

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