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Match Report: London Irish 39 Harlequins 29

02 Sep 2017
Match Report: London Irish 39 Harlequins 29

London Irish had the perfect return to the Aviva Premiership Rugby as Tommy Bell kicked 24 points in a 39-29 victory over Harlequins at Twickenham with both teams scoring try bonus points.

Bell got one of four Irish tries in the London Double Header fixture with the club’s all-time leading tryscorer Topsy Ojo, No.8 Ofisa Treviranus and Brendan McKibbin also dotting down.

Harlequins replied through Joe Marchant before a trio of tries in quick succession from Marland Yarde, Danny Care and Charlie Walker reduced the deficit to just three points.

But McKibbin’s late try sealed a winning return to Aviva Premiership Rugby for London Irish.

London Irish raced out of the blocks as Tommy Bell knocked over two early penalties. Marcus Smith got Harlequins on the board with a penalty before Topsy Ojo flew down the right wing with Fergus Mulchrone in support to score the games’ opening try.

Bell burst clear after collecting a Blair Cowan offload to extend the newly-promoted side’s lead but when Jamie Roberts fed Joe Marchant to dot down Harlequins were right back into it.

Another Bell penalty, this third of the afternoon, made it 21-10 to Irish at the break.

Harlequins saw replacement Catrakilis sent to the sin bin for a ruck infringement after 53 minutes with Bell knocking over a simple penalty for Irish before the second half ignited.

First, Treviranus added the finishing touch to a fine Irish move for his side’s third try of the afternoon before Yarde offered Harlequins late hope.

And the lightning quick Care followed up his assist with a score of his own and despite Mike Brown getting sin binned, Walker earned Harlequins a try bonus point and brought them back to within three.

But the game was eventually settled by McKibbin’s late intervention as Irish left Twickenham with the full five points.