Orr inspires incredible fightback as lowly Quins destroy Wigan

Wigan 26 Harlequins 38
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The Independent Online

The last shall be first and the first last. At least that was the pecking order at Wigan last night as Quins, with only one win all season, amazingly beat the Super League leaders.

Trailing by 18 points at the break, the London club produced an inspired second half, led by Wigan old boy, Danny Orr. It was a result no-one predicted, but it was entirely deserved.

"He has been outstanding all year and we have had a few ropey performances," said Brian McDermott, who has succesfully converted Orr to hooker. "He gets better as he gets older and that position seems to suit the little terrier."

Quins began by moving the ball with vision and incisiveness and took the lead in the eighth minute. Orr kicked for the corner, where Will Sharp leapt to win it and guide it into the arms of David Howell. Orr added the conversion and, with Sharp and Kevin Penny going close to further tries, Quins were playing with an unaccustomed confidence.

It was too good to last. They got a little too confident, coughed up possession near their own line and saw Liam Farrell score from Sam Tomkins' long pass. It looked much more like top against bottom when Phil Bailey got a one-handed off-load to Cameron Phelps to put Wigan ahead.

The next was a Tomkins family special as Sam's instinctive flick helped to put brother Joel over. Quins were starting to creak as Sam Tomkins launched a high kick Penny could not handle and Farrell, starting a first-team game for the first time, swooped for his second of the evening.

Quins narrowed the gap at the start of the second half when Chad Randall's perfect pass put Luke Dorn through a gap for his first try. His second came from an equally handsome scrum-base move and, with two Orr goals, the visitors were back in business. They conceded too many penalties when they came under pressure, however, and from one of them Wigan took the two points on offer. That looked prudent after 64 minutes when Orr's midfield kick for Sharp created the fourth Quins try.

Five minutes later, the unthinkable, as another slashing Quins raid ended with Rob Purdham plunging over. Any doubt over the season's shock result so far was removed when Purdham sent Randall over two minutes from time.

Wigan: Phelps; Ainscough, Bailey, Carmont, Richards; O'Loughlin, S Tomkins; Fielden, Riddell, Prescott, Farrell, J Tomkins, Mossop. Substitutes used: McIlorum, O'Carroll, Paleaaesina, Walker.

Harlequins: Jones-Bishop; Penny, Clubb, Howell, Sharp; Dorn, Randall; Ward, Orr, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Williamson, Purdham, Melling. Substitutes used: Gale, Temata, Wilkes, Bryan.

Referee: P Bentham (Warrington)