Quins crash to defeat after being run over by Ah Van
Harlequins 16 Bradford Bulls 30
Sunday 05 June 2011
Two tries from Patrick Ah Van helped Bradford pile the misery on beleaguered Harlequins, who suffered a sixth straight defeat. Ah Van also kicked five goals for a tally of 18 points as the Bulls won away for the first time since February. The Quins centre Karl Pryce scored twice against his old club but his efforts were not enough to halt an increasingly desperate run for the London club.
Harlequins had most of the early possession and they came close to scoring in the second minute, when Michael Platt only just managed to deal with Luke Gale's kick towards the right-hand corner. They went ahead, deservedly, after seven minutes, when Chad Randall fed Pryce and he bulldozed through from a few metres out. Gale missed the difficult conversion.
The Bulls hit back with a good spell of their own and only a thumping tackle from Pryce stopped Jamie Langley in his tracks when he was well placed on the right. Bradford hit the front when a superb break by Ben Jeffries allowed Ah Van to sprint clear and score a try that he converted himself. Two minutes before half-time, the Bulls widened the gap when Shad Royston started to run deep in his own half before spotting a gap down the left and shrugging off a tackle from Chris Riley to score under the posts.
Ah Van kicked the conversion to give Bradford a 12-4 lead as the players came off for half-time. Both sets of supporters were hoping for an improved second half and it took less than two minutes for the Bulls to strike again. Jeffries found Ah Van, who had the simple task of touching down in the right-hand corner. He could not convert.
That was a big setback for Quins and they could not quite strike back quickly – it took three Bradford players to do it but they managed to stop Pryce after he made a strong run down the left wing. Ah Van then added two points to his tally when he kicked a penalty that was awarded when the hosts were too slow in releasing Marc Herbert in the tackle.
Quins hit back from the restart, as Danny Ward took up possession before offloading to Karl Temata, who sprinted through a gap to score. Gale's conversion reduced the Bradford lead to eight points. But then came a moment that summed up Quins' plight. Gale fumbled Pryce's awful pass backwards, before his offload was intercepted by Elliott Whitehead, who cantered home, unopposed.
Pryce went some way to redeeming himself when he took Randall's pass and swivelled away from his tackler to touch down. Gale convertedfrom out wide. But the Bulls were to have the last word, a minute from the end of the match, when Heath L'Estrange passed inside to Andy Lynch, who plunged over under the posts. Ah Van completed his points haul with the conversion.
Harlequins Riley; O'Callaghan, Clubb, Pryce, Melling; Bailey, Gale; Ward, Randall, Temata, Burnett, Mitchell, Wilkes. Substitutes used Krasniqi, Ambler, Ellis, Koupartisas.
Bradford Royston; Crookes, Ah Van, Whitehead, Platt; Jeffries, Herbert; Lynch, Diskin, Kopczak, Elima, Olbison, Langley. Substitutes used L'Estrange, Addy, Donaldson, Burgess.
Referee T Alibert (France).
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
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