RUGBY UNION: Welsh kept at bay by resilient Quins

Tom Arscott sprints through a gap during London Welsh’s defeat at Harlequins

Tom Arscott sprints through a gap during London Welsh’s defeat at Harlequins

First published in Sport

Harlequins 23

London Welsh 6

London Welsh remain rooted to the foot of Pool 4 after a third straight LV= Cup defeat in a scrappy match at the Stoop on Saturday.

The game was very poor despite both teams trying to run the ball at every opportunity.

Both were guilty of regularly turning over possession and there were far too many handling errors as neither side could bring any continuity to their play.

The home side dominated the set scrum as the Welsh retreated at every engagement, but in the loose the visitors were the masters and their hard-working pack were very unlucky to come away with no reward.

Harlequins were without all their England squad members, while London Welsh fielded half their first choice line-up, including outside half, Gordon Ross, who made his 100th appearance for the club.

The visitors had the better of the opening ten minutes, having more possession and territory but they lacked the creativity to break down the Quins’ defence.

However, they deservedly took the lead after 13 minutes when Alex Davies kicked a penalty as the hosts were penalised for diving in at a ruck.

Back came Harlequins with an immediate response.

Welsh were careless in dealing with the restart, allowing Seb Stegmann to secure possession and make ground.

Sam Smith was hauled down just short of the line, but prop Mark Lambert was on hand to crash over for the try, which Ben Botica converted before adding a penalty.

Welsh reduced the arrears when Davies fired over a simple penalty and the visitors continued to dominate possession.

However, they could not break down a stubborn defence and were 10-6 behind at the interval.

Welsh suffered a blow when centre Seb Jewell was withdrawn at half-time as he was suffering from concussion, while Quins also made a change replacing Tom Casson with Harry Sloan.

The uneventful second half was evenly-contested, but it was Quins who extended their lead with two further penalties from Botica after 46 and 64 minutes respectively.

Following Botica’s second success, Quins dominated play for the first time and six minutes from time they secured the win when Welsh messed up a line-out on their own line, allowing hooker Dave Ward a simple try, which Botica converted.

Harlequins: Lindsay-Hague, Stegmann (Chisholm 56), Hopper, Casson (Sloan HT), Smith, Botica, Dickson, Lambert (Marfo 72), Ward (Allen 79), Collier Sinckler 62), Twomey, Matthews, Trayfoot, Wallace, Guest (Clifford 67). Replacements not used: Burns, Grimoldboy.
 

London Welsh: Voyce (Arscott 62), Scott, Parker, Jewell (Ajuwa HT), MacKenzie, Ross (Jones 65), Davies, Bristow (Moss 65), George (Evans 68),   Ion, Brown, Kulemin (Purdy 62), Balding, Hills, Jackson (Browne 62). Replacement not used: Tideswell.

Referee: Neil Hennessy (WRU).

Attendance: 12,356.

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