Hammond: Harlequins’ never say die attitude came to the fore
A refusal to give in was the secret to Harlequins’ stunning comeback in their 34-29 victory over Sale Sharks during the Premiership Rugby Under-18s Academy Finals Day, according to lock George Hammond.
Few would have predicted what followed when Hammond pulled a try back for Quins with the score 29-10 to the Sharks in the match to decide the fifth-placed team at Allianz Park.
But his effort proved to be the start of something very special for the south Londoners, as they scored 24 unanswered points, with Jack Kenningham completing the turnaround.
Hammond said: “The lads stuck at it, we all worked hard together and as soon as we got the scores on the doors we just kept it going.
“We have a lot of talent in the team and we always thought we could come back, so we just kept at it and worked hard.”
The match was a repeat of last year’s final, when a Marcus Smith-inspired Harlequins defeated Sale 20-8 to lift the trophy at Sixways.
Even though there wasn’t quite as much at stake this time around, centre Harry Barlow, who set up Hammond’s match-turning try, felt the match was a big improvement on 2017’s clash.
A superb fight back gave them a 34-29 win over @SaleSharksRugby and a memorable win 💪 🏉
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) March 11, 2018
Barlow said: “Credit to Sale, they’re a great team and they bring the physicality and while last year was a good game, this year it was even better.
“We really enjoyed it, I think everyone else loved it and credit to Sale. It was a great game.”
While they may not have come home with the Under-18s title, it was still a fantastic experience for Quins’ players as they look to force their way into the senior set-up at the Stoop.
The front row is already an area of strength in the first team and but two twins are hoping to push the likes of Joe Marler and Kyle Sinckler in the near future.
Jon and Aristot Benz-Salomon have been playing together for years and have high hopes for the future after appearing together at Allianz Park.
— Harlequins 🃏 (@Harlequins) March 12, 2018
“We’d love to end up playing for England together, that would be great, a dream come true,” said Jon.
“Playing alongside my brother for my country is all that anybody could ask for, really.
“First, we hope that you’ll see us back here next year winning the title for Harlequins.”