Fixtures - Top Bar

Match Reaction: Harlequins 18 Leicester Tigers 27

Assistant coach Geordan Murphy tipped his cap to a steely second-half showing from the Leicester Tigers replacements, who changed the game at Twickenham Stoop and guided the midlanders to a 27-18 victory over Harlequins.

After Alofa Alofa’s score in the corner and penalties from Nick Evans and Ruaridh Jackson, the hosts looked like they were set for a third win in four games at 13-3 ahead.

But 24 unanswered points from Tigers after half-time saw them turn the contest on its head, with both Sam Harrison and Freddie Burns crossing either side of a penalty try.

And after that both ended Quins’ 100 per cent unbeaten record in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season and saw Tigers claim their first league double over the Londoners since the 2010-11 campaign, Murphy was thrilled with how his side controlled the contest in the second half.

“It’s been a few years since we won down here, and our away form hasn’t been great this year either, so it’s nice to get the points on the board,” he said.

“We started the game very well but we were just a little bit loose with the ball and turned it over a couple of times.

“We had territory in their 22 and didn’t take advantage of it, so at half-time we talked about having a big start in the second half and holding onto the ball to put them under pressure.

“Controlling the tempo of the game was something that we looked at in the week, and we know it would open up as the game went on after grinding away at it in the first half.

“We were conscious we would need some quality on the bench, and fortunately those guys came on and delivered.”

Harlequins could have salvaged a bonus point from the contest late on as Dave Ward rumbled over at the back of a rolling maul, but Jackson’s crucial conversion was pulled just left of the posts.

And on the same night the club dedicated a plaque to the memory of Seb Adeniran-Olule in the tunnel at the Stoop, director of rugby John Kingston was frustrated his side had made costly errors in defence.

He said: “At 13-3 up at half-time we seemed to be in the ascendancy, and the guys had played extremely well.

“In the first quarter we had to defend extremely well, while in the second we were excellent in attack and thoroughly deserved the lead at half-time.

“Obviously we are really disappointed then to have fallen away and not got the result. Tigers came out in the second half and played like they had begun the first.

“We managed to quell them before with some excellent defence, but there were two pivotal moments for us in the penalty try and interception.

“It was our own fault but we were 14 points down then, and against a quality side like that you are going to find it very hard to come back.

“The top four is now out of our reach. We were honest enough to say coming into this game that for us it was a cup final, but the top four is now gone.”

Harlequins: Morris, Yarde, Marchant, Hopper (Walker 69), Alofa, N Evans (Jackson 31), Mulchrone, Lambert, Buchanan (Gray 63), A Jones (Shields 69), Merrick, Matthews, Chisholm, Ward, Luamanu (Nauopu 69).

Replacements not used: O Evans, South, L Jones.

Leicester Tigers: Veainu, Thompstone (Williams 51), Betham, Mermoz, Pietersen, Burns (Smith 61), Harrison (Kitto 61), Genge, McGuigan Youngs 51), Bateman, Wells (Williams 51), Barrow, Fitzgerald, O’Connor, McCaffrey (Hamilton 67).

Replacements not used:  Brugnara, Betts.

SCORERS

Harlequins

Tries: Alofa, Ward

Con: Evans

Pen: Evans, Jackson

Leicester Tigers

Tries: Harrison, Penalty, Burns

Con: Burns (2), Williams

Pen: Burns (2)

Referee: Dean Richards

Attendance: 14,800

Latest News

Aviva Premiership Rugby Final: Review of the finalists’ most recent head-to-heads

Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final sees table-toppers Wasps face off against second-placed Exeter Chiefs, in what promises to be a…

Six things to look out for in this Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final

After nearly nine months of intense competition, the fate of the Aviva Premiership Rugby trophy comes down to 80 minutes…

Match Reaction: Northampton Saints 23 Stade Francais 22

Courtney Lawes revealed that he overcame illness to put in another man-of-the-match performance in Northampton Saints’ European Rugby Champions Cup…

Match Report: Northampton Saints 23 Stade Francais 22

Northampton Saints pulled off a stunning comeback victory to upset Stade Francais and secure European Champions Cup rugby for next…

Thomas Waldrom out to finish the job with Exeter Chiefs

Thomas Waldrom is ready to put the seal on a season of hard graft by helping Exeter Chiefs to lift…

Thomas Waldrom

Key moments of the season for our Aviva Premiership Rugby finalists

After two frantically-contested semi-finals, excitement is building for what will surely be a thrilling Aviva Premiership Rugby Final between Wasps…

Exeter Chiefs side to face Wasps in the Aviva Premiership Final

It was seven years today that Exeter Chiefs finally arrived at English rugby’s top table. On a wet and wild…

Olly Woodburn

Wasps team to play Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership Final

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his Wasps’ side for the Aviva Premiership Final against Exeter Chiefs, at Twickenham…

Josh Bassett and Willie Le Roux

Sean Maitland signs contract extension with Saracens

Saracens are delighted to announce that Scotland international Sean Maitland has signed a contract extension with the Club. Capped 28…

Sean Maitland

Ashley Johnson ready for daunting Twickenham final challenge

Wasps might have finished the Aviva Premiership Rugby season top of the table but hooker Ashley Johnson believes they will…

Netani Talei retires from rugby

Harlequins back-row Netani Talei has today (Thursday 25th May) announced that he will retire from the game following medical advice.…

Netani Talei

Aviva Premiership Rugby Final – safety of supporters

The safety of our supporters is of upmost importance to Premiership Rugby. As a result, we have been working for…

Win a Citizen Watch and a ball signed by this year’s Aviva Premiership Rugby champions

Celebrating being the Official Timekeeper of Premiership Rugby, Citizen are offering you the chance to win a Citizen Watch up…

England Squad Announced to Play in Old Mutual Wealth Cup Against the Barbarians

Eddie Jones has named his England squad to play in the Old Mutual Wealth Cup against the Barbarians on Sunday…

AUDIO: Preview of this weekend’s Aviva Premiership Final

Russell Hargreaves looks ahead to Wasps versus Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham, for the right to be called the 2017 champions…

Increased security measures at Franklin’s Gardens on Friday night

Northampton Saints has announced that there will be increased security measures at Friday’s European Rugby Champions Cup qualification play-off against…

Franklins Gardens

Match Reaction: London Irish 55 (84) Yorkshire Carnegie 48 (66)

Nick Kennedy believes London Irish are finally back where they belong after dramatically sealing promotion to Aviva Premiership Rugby by…

Match Report: London Irish 55 (84) Yorkshire Carnegie 48 (66)

London Irish secured an instant return to Aviva Premiership Rugby as they beat Yorkshire Carnegie 55-48 in an enthralling encounter…

Aviva Premiership Rugby Final TV coverage on BT Sport and ITV Sport

Nearly nine months of unforgettable Aviva Premiership Rugby action comes to a head at Twickenham this weekend. Between September 2-4…