Rugby Union: Quins on best behaviour

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The Independent Online
Harlequins. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47

Wakefield. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

YOU cannot be sure which Harlequins team you are going to see these days. Will it be the expansive, accomplished, all-round side, the bright Quins, who beat Blackheath by 70 points in the last round? Or will it be the dark Quins, unsure of their talent and prey to self-doubt, the Quins who led Orrell 16-0 only to lose 16-18?

We saw the bright Quins at the Stoop yesterday. Breezy and self- confident, they played with the wind in the first half and built a commanding lead within 20 minutes. Thereafter they were safe from serious reprisals.

The first of their six tries came in the sixth minute. They had scored another, this one by Paul Challinor, who in between kicked a conversion and three penalties, before Wakefield got into their 22.

This opening period was when Wakefield let themselves down. They seemed transfixed by the famous faces and unable to do anything decently. Intermittently they showed some spirit and later on demonstrated a refreshing desire to run the ball, which made it a fast and loose game.

Challinor scored 27 points. Slim and dapper, he is an elusive runner, a neat kicker both from hand and from the ground. He manages to appear to be moving less speedily than he really is, which makes him difficult to tackle. Wakefield, who won little enough possesson as it was, had no one to match him, although on such parsimonious portions as he received Robert Liley did his best.

Brian Moore will not be pleased at losing one strike against the head and I dare say that there were animated discussions later as to why it happened. His England team-mate, Peter Winterbottom, was extraordinary in the way he roamed. You would have thought he had not played for a month instead of having faced the French seven days ago. Wakefield had no one like him, but then not many sides do.

Harlequins: K Bray; M Wedderburn, G Thompson, W Carling, J Alexander; P Challinor, R Glenister; J Leonard, B Moore, A Mullins, S Dear (S Brown, 78 min), R Langhorn, M Russell, C Sheasby, P Winterbottom (capt).

Wakefield: R Thompson; J Sleightholme, A Atkinson, B Barley, K Morley; R Liley, D Scully (capt); M Vincent, T Garnett, R Burman, I Carroll, P Stewart, M Sowerby, M Rawnsley, J Griffiths.

Referee: M Bayliss (Gloucs)

Scorers: Bray / Challinor (try / conv, 6 min, 7-0); Challinor (pen, 12 min, 10-0); Challinor (pen, 14 min, 13-0); Challinor (pen, 19 min, 16-0); Challinor (try, 25 min, 21-0); Liley (pen, 31 min, 21-3); Sheasby/Challinor (try / conv, 38 min, 28- 3); Liley (pen, 45 min, 28-6); Winterbottom (try, 59 min, 33-6); Thompson/ Challinor (try / conv, 63 min, 40-6); Atkinson / Liley (try / conv, 65 min, 40-13); Carroll (try, 70 min, 40-18); Challinor (try / conv, 78 min, 47-18)

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