TOP BAR - Fixtures

Match reaction: Harlequins 31 Newport Gwent Dragons 21

Harlequins’ director of rugby Conor O’Shea hailed his side’s fighting qualities after they scored 23 unanswered points after the break to see off Newport Gwent Dragons at the Twickenham Stoop.

Jonathan Evans and Jason Thomas scored first-half tries for Newport as they led 21-8 at the break but a double score from James Chisholm and an early try in the game from Ollie Lindsay-Hague saw Quins roar back.

Tim Swiel was equally as impressive with the boot, scoring 16 points for Harlequins as O’Shea’s men dragged themselves back into the game.   

“I was pretty beside myself because we were terrible in the first half,” said O’Shea.  “But that’s what this competition is about as well.

“It’s about young players understanding the mental mindset that you have to carry and they reacted again – they turned it around, they didn’t’ go into their shells, and they got the win so that’s the positive side of things.

“We’re so much better than that. We wanted an 80 minute performance like we played in the second half.

“The penalty count was horrific. They conceded 24 penalties, we only conceded eight. It’s very difficult to have a game when that’s going on but we’ll take the win. It gives us something to play for after Christmas with this group of players.”

Newport head coach Lyn Jones was understandably frustrated by his side’s penalty count after the break but still singled out a number of positives from the defeat at the Stoop.   

He said: "There are two sides to refereeing. I'm not going to make excuses but wherever you go the game is refereed differently.

"The scoreboard was shaped by the whistle, 23 points in the second half was shaped by 12 penalties to one. We looked a far better team to Quins in the first half. To score 21 points was very pleasing in one half but the territory dried up because of one technicality after another.

"Ross Wardle, Andrew Coombs, Cory Hill, and Joe Davies, who were all long term injuries, have returned tonight and on top of that we have a lot of young players making their debut for the region.

“I'm delighted with what I've learned from the young players, I'm delighted to have long-term injury players come back successfully. I'm delighted to have found answers to some nagging questions about some experienced players.

"We are one of the fittest teams in the Celtic league and our work rate is outstanding but you must appreciate that 12 penalties to one has an effect when you are running back all the time.

"We are trying to improve our game but we just need individuals to stand up now and have responsibilities for their actions."

Scorers
Harlequins
Tries: Lindsay-Hague, Chisholm (2)
Conversions: Swiel (2)
Penalties: Swiel (4)

Dragons
Tries: Evans, Thomas
Conversions: D Jones
Penalties: D Jones (3)

Referee: Greg MacDonald
Attendance: 7,623

Harlequins: R Chisholm; Walker, Hopper, Turner-Hall (Casson, 50), Lindsay-Hague; Swiel, Dickson; Lambert (Marfo 71), Buchanan (Ward, 50), Sinckler (Collier, 50), Matthews (Merrick, 61), Twomey, Trayfoot (Cheeseman, 66), Clifford, J Chisholm.
Not used: Stuart, Grimoldby

Dragons: GR Jones; Hewitt, Pewtner, Wardle (Williams, 55), Brew (Nightingale, 73); D Jones, Evans (L Jones, 69); Price (Gustafson, 68), Dee, Harris (Young, 63), Thomas, Hill, Coombs, Benjamin (Griffiths, 68), Powell (Davies, 63).
Not used: Fairbrother

For your definitive guide to the LV= Cup click here 

Be part of the rugby family at the LV= Cup Final at Franklin's Gardens, Northampton on Sunday 22 March. Visit www.northamptonsaints.co.uk for tickets

Latest News

Stephen Myler: Northampton Saints ready to fight for the title

Stephen Myler is predicting the closest ever Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign and believes his Northampton Saints side will be right…

Sonatane Takulua expecting big things from Newcastle Falcons this season

Sonatane Takulua believes unity and a collective purpose, combined with an improved playing pool, can help propel Newcastle Falcons up…

Sonatane Takulua

Wasps name team for first pre-season fixture against Ulster

Dai Young has named a 26-man squad to take on Ulster Rugby at Kingspan Stadium in the first pre-season fixture…

Anglo-Welsh Cup 2017-18 launched

WORCESTER WARRIORS have the honour of hosting the opening match in this year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday 3 November, when…

Leicester Tigers win the Anglo Welsh Cup

Ally Hogg pleased by Newcastle Falcons’ early progress

Ally Hogg believes Newcastle Falcons are well set to attack the new Aviva Premiership season after a double dose of…

Ally Hogg

Topsy Ojo relishing Exiles return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action at HQ

Topsy Ojo believes there could be no more fitting way for London Irish to announce their return as an Aviva…

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua sees Philadelphia trip as a ‘great opportunity’

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua insists his side’s September clash with Saracens in Philadelphia will be no holiday for the players,…

Sonatane Takulua

Harlequins statement: Luke Wallace and Jonas Mikalcius

Harlequins can confirm today (Tuesday 15th August) that flanker Luke Wallace dislocated his hip during the pre-season friendly against London…

Luke Wallace

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

London Irish will host Bath Rugby at the Madejski Stadium in the opening round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Saturday…

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

HITZ graduate secures first full time job after being inspired by Premiership Rugby final

A teenager from Leigh who overcame a troubled home life and tackled confidence and communication issues thanks to Premiership Rugby…

Lucy Neal

Nick Kennedy delighted with first pre-season hit-out for London Irish

London Irish director of rugby Nick Kennedy is looking forward to seeing his side build on Saturday’s thrilling contest against…

Nick Kennedy

Philadelphia bound Nick Civetta can’t wait for American Series challenge with Newcastle Falcons

NICK CIVETTA HAS had an unlikely path to the top level but as he prepares to embark on his second season…

Nick Civetta

Demetri Catrakilis relishing chance to reunite with old friend Tim Swiel

Harlequins fly-half Demetri Catrakilis has revealed he is ready to join forces with  compatriot and old acquaintance Tim Swiel – insisting…

Worcester Warriors to use number of players in Hartpury test

Warriors will look to use up to 37 players during their fixture against Hartpury College this Saturday in their first…

GJ van Velze

Emergency Services workers invited to London Double Header

Saracens are offering up to eight free tickets to any member of the London Emergency Services for the upcoming London…

London Double Header

Newcastle Falcons teams for double-header v Doncaster and Nottingham

Three-time French title winner Maxime Mermoz is among the Newcastle Falcons players making their debuts in Saturday’s home double header…

Nili Latu

Lewis and Phillips to make Bath Rugby debuts against Bristol

Josh Lewis and James Phillips will make their Bath Rugby debuts in the Club’s first pre-season game against Bristol Rugby…

James Phillips

London Irish name side for pre-season opener

London Irish have named a 29-man squad for tomorrow’s Cunningham Duncombe Series against Harlequins at Hazelwood, with seven summer signings…

Greig Tonks

Nick Civetta primed for Newcastle Falcons’ double header this Saturday

Having spent the summer helping his country qualify for the Rugby World Cup American lock Nick Civetta is keen to…

Nick Civetta