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Quins make it two from two

10 Nov 2006
Quins make it two from two

NEC Harlequins extended their winning run at a rain-swept Kingston Park. David Strettle and Nick Easter scored tries, both converted by Adrian Jarvis. Matt Burke replied for the Falcons with a first-half penalty.

Harlequins took another big step towards GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP survival with a professional performance at out-of-sorts Newcastle.

Superb in defence, the visitors took full advantage of an error-strewn display by the home side to make it two successive wins against one of their relegation rivals.

David Strettle and Nick Easter were the tryscorers, lifting Quins up to eighth in the table and leaving their opponents deep in trouble.

Newcastle made six changes from the side that toppled Bristol last week, including handing a debut to 20-year-old fly-half Gavin Beasley in the absence of the unfortunate Jonny Wilkinson.

Quins recalled fit-again wingers Strettle and Ugo Monye despite recording their first Premiership win of the season on Saturday.

After a nervy start by both sides, Matthew Burke kept his cool to knock over a 40-metre penalty that put the Falcons ahead after three minutes.

The veteran full-back needed to be on his toes at the other end to clear an Andy Gomarsall chip to touch as the Quins pack began to assert themselves.

Missed tackles were keeping the home side penned in their own half and, when Monye finished a sweeping move in the corner, it looked to have cost them but the try was disallowed for a forward pass.

More shocking Newcastle defending led to the inevitable, John Rudd failing to gather another kick forward, allowing Strettle to score. Adrian Jarvis converted with ease.

Desperate at one end, the Falcons were a different prospect with ball in hand but Quins were giving their opponents a lesson in tackling and, despite losing Monye to injury, they weathered the storm.

It gave them a platform for their second try, referee Chris White playing an advantage that allowed the outstanding Gomarsall to feed Jarvis, whose simple pass presented Easter with the touchdown.

Jarvis converted and, as the rain began to fall, it was looking bleak for Newcastle going into half-time.

Jason Oakes, back from suspension, failed to emerge at the restart and scrum-half James Grindle did not last much longer after being unable to shake off a first-half arm injury.

More changes followed before a controversial decision from White prevented Newcastle getting back in contention, the ref pulling back Burke after he and Mathew Tait engineered a quick lineout.

Rudd then blew a great chance to score legitimately when a superb Falcons attack, that began on the halfway line, released him into the corner and he failed to retrieve his own through kick.

With 20 minutes remaining, the home side threw on new signing Loki Crichton but they conceded a needless penalty they were fortunate to see Jarvis miss.

It did not matter as Quins comfortably held on for a deserved victory.


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