Harlequins 36 Catalans Dragons 14: Luisi try sets Quins up for first win at new home

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The Independent Online

Harlequins finally broke their home hoodoo at the fifth attempt as they romped past Catalans Dragons.

Quins had lost their first four Super League matches at their new Stoop home but were always too strong for the French side and ran out comfortable winners.

Tony Rea's team took just eight minutes to breach the Dragons defence.

Catalans were penalised for offside and from the resulting play Luke Dorn's inside pass saw Zebastian Luisi escape fragile tackling to score under the posts.

Eight minutes later Quins had a second. New Zealand scrum-half Thomas Leuluai's cross-field kick caused confusion in the Dragons defence, allowing the returning Rob Purdham to score in the corner on his 26th birthday.

Dragons half back Sean Rudder was held up on the line on the half-hour as Catalans finally exerted some pressure and that told a minute later.

Bruno Verges raced clear down the left wing and released Rudder to score.

Mark Hughes went close to a second for the visitors, but having withstood further pressure Quins grabbed a crucial third try on the stroke of half-time.

Quins captain Mark McLinden burst clear from his own half and released Dorn to score in the corner for a 14-4 lead at the break.

Six minutes after the restart Quins extended the lead. Leuluai's quick feet left the Catalans defence for dead and he crossed under the posts.

And with the Dragons defence in disarray Danny Williams started and finished a move involving Purdham and Pat Weisner that saw him go over in the corner on 55 minutes.

Substitute Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook then came off the bench to grab another after good work from Mark Tookey in the 67th minute.

Hughes reduced the arrears 10 minutes from time, but Dorn added the Quins seventh and final try when he sprinted the length of the field and Matt Gafa added his fourth goal.

Justin Murphy added a consolation on the hooter, but the damage had already been done.

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