Tim Visser grabbed a hat-trick of tries as Harlequins prolonged London Irish’s wait for a first Aviva Premiership Rugby point of the season.
The Scotland winger has made a flying start to life at the Stoop and showed off his eye for the line at the Exiles’ expense as Harlequins – who have now lost just one of their last seven home games – showed their cutting edge.
He crossed for the only try of the first half and added another shortly before the hour mark, ten minutes after captain Danny Care had scored a try of his own.
Visser completed his treble ten minutes from time before Jack Clifford added some gloss to the scoreline with a fifth late on before Halani Aulika grabbed a consolation score.
Care orchestrated some early pressure from the hosts and Nick Evans drew first blood with six minutes on the clock after the Exiles were caught not rolling away.
They suffered a pair of setbacks in the following quarter of an hour, Sam Twomey and Ollie Lindsay-Hague each forced off injured, as a cagey contest waited patiently to burst into life.
Harlequins began to enforce their dominance at the breakdown and it almost paid dividends after half an hour, a turnover catching Irish cold and allowing Ross Chisholm – just on for Lindsay-Hague – to dash down the right touchline.
But Alex Lewington produced an excellent covering tackle on the try line and the TMO confirmed Chisholm’s foot was in touch at the last second.
The try did arrive soon, however, and it was Visser who got it, skipping past Lewington to cross under the posts for his fourth try in five games and Evans converting.
The hosts took a 10-0 lead into the break and while they met a rejuvenated Exiles in the second half, stanch defence and a clinical visit to the Irish 22 soon saw that extended.
A smart George Lowe offload found Care on 47 minutes and the skipper crossed over unchallenged, fly-half Evans once again adding the extras.
Quins showed their cutting edge once again ten minutes later when Visser picked an incisive line and burst through an Exiles tackler to cross over.
Evans preserved his perfect record from the tee to make it 24-0 and leave Tom Coventry’s side staring down the barrel of a sixth defeat in as many Aviva Premiership Rugby games this season.
Visser thought he had completed his hat-trick and secured the bonus point after 68 minutes, only for the TMO to rule that he had stepped into touch en route to the line.
But he didn’t have to wait long to put that right, fast hands spreading the ball to Visser who evaded a pair of defenders to score – Evans on target once more.
Clifford capitalised on a rolling maul to dot down three minutes from time, Ben Botica converting, but the Exiles did ensure in the dying stages that they wouldn’t go pointless, Aulika touching down with the final play of the match.
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