Rugby Union: Harlequins end play-off fears as Wood inspires recovery

Bristol 19 Harlequins 26
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The Independent Online
HARLEQUINS eased themselves away from any relegation play-offs with a second half recovery inspired by Ireland and Lions hooker Keith Wood.

Bristol looked to be heading for only their third league success of the season, and a double over Quins, as they led 11-6 at the interval. But six minutes into the second half, Harlequins introduced Wood and his try helped end Bristol's ambitions.

Josh Lewsey weaved through to score under the posts after just four minutes but his conversion attempt was charged down. Thierry Lacroix then landed two of his three penalty attempts only for Lewsey to kick two penalties to give Bristol the advantage.

Laurent Cabannes was sent to the sin-bin just before the break after he knocked the ball from the hands of Robert Jones, denying the Bristol captain a chance of a quick tap penalty. Six minutes into the second half, Fabrice Landreaux took an inside pass to plough through for Bristol's second try. But Lacroix then kicked a penalty and converted Wood's close- range try to level the scores.

With Lewsey missing two penalties and two conversions, Paul Hull took over the kicking and landed a simple 15 metres penalty from in front of the posts to regain the lead for Bristol.

Quins wing Dan Luger then sprinted 25 metres down the left to score in the corner with Lacroix adding the touchline conversion and another penalty to take his tally for the game to 16 points.

Bristol: Tries Landreau, Lewsey; Penalties Lewsey 2, Hull. Harlequins: Tries Luger, Wood; Conversions Lacroix 2; Penalties Lacroix 4.

Bristol: Hull; Yapp, Martin, Maggs, Breeze; Lewsey, Jones; Poole, Landreau, Fullman, Eagle, Charron, Brownrigg, Corckery, Short. Replacements: Baber, Dunn, Armstrong, Wring, Rollitt, Moore.

Harlequins: Williams; O'Leary, Power, Mensah, Luge; Lacroix, Harries; Leonard, Billups, Nebbett, Davison, Collier, Jenkins, White-Cooper, Cabannes. Replacements: Walshe, Keyter, Liley, Llewellyn, Wood, Yates.

Referee: C Hughes (Sandbach).