Rugby Union: Harris kicks Quins aside

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The Independent Online
Harlequins. .13

Leicester. . 40

LEICESTER arrived at The Stoop on a dismal record of five defeats in eight league meetings with Harlequins. Hence the incentive for a Tigers' roar yesterday which, without their injured talisman Dean Richards, amounted to a four-try rout with Jez Harris contributing 20 points. Just what the table-toppers need with a visit to Bath to come next weekend.

Things had perked up a bit for Quins since last month's reversals. Against Wasps, the Quins' coach Keith Richardson had left the ground at half-time because of business commitments in Newcastle. As Quins were leading 21-12, he was not too concerned. Later, though he was in for a shock.

'When I rang up to get the result and was told Wasps had won 57-26 I told the guy to stop taking the mick and give me the real score.' he said. 'I then realised he wasn't joking.' Quins subsequently lost to Bristol, but successes over West Hartlepool and Northampton saw Richardson smiling again.

This was serious stuff here, however, particularly when Harris put points on the board for the unbeaten Tigers inside the first minute. Tom Smith soared to take the first line-out and Harris, from 30 yards out on the left, dropped a sweet goal. Within two minutes, Will Greenwood had landed a penalty and a second close to the half-hour put Quins ahead.

Troy Coker was spoken to for taking a shot at Chris Tarbuck and the half closed on a couple of Harris penalties which gave Leicester a three-point advantage.

Quins had lost the services of Brian Moore, their terrier of a captain, with a hamstring injury in the 34th minute - he misses next Saturday's game against Orrell - and it may have been a coincidence, but Quins went rapidly downhill from the moment the second half opened.

When Tony Underwood made a stunning break-out and found Diccon Edwards in support, Steve Hackney was released on a cruise to the line. Seven minutes later and Aadel Kardooni was plunging over from close range, while Hackney's second try came after Harris had opened up.

Perhaps by now, Richardson may have wished he could find another excuse to head off to his native Newcastle because John Liley celebrated his arrival as a replacement by scoring the fourth try. As for Harris, he just kicked everything in sight.

Harlequins: D Currie; J Keyter, W Carling, J Alexander, G Thompson; W Greenwood, R Kitchin; J Leonard, B Moore (capt), N Collins, P Thresher, T Coker, R Jenkins, C Sheasby, J Cassell.

Leicester: W Kilford; S Hackney, D Edwards, S Potter, T Underwood; J Harris, A Kardooni; G Rowntree, R Cockerill, D Garforth, M Johnson, T Smith, J Wells (capt), C Tarbuck, B Drake-Lee.

Referee: S Lander (Wirral).

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