Angry Easter stung by Wasps' late leveller
Wasps 29 Harlequins 29
Monday 06 September 2010
Nick Easter did his best, but the outstanding Harlequin struggled to share the enthusiasm of a 75,000 crowd for a cracking contest at Twickenham on Saturday. He was far from thrilled to see victory dashed from his lips by Mark van Gisbergen's late penalty leveller, nor did he buy into the general opinion that parity was justice.
"We didn't come here to draw with Wasps, we came to win and we should have," he said, batting away attempted congratulations for a personally fine performance. "We led with four minutes remaining so I have to feel disappointed with the outcome."
That mentality is part of what makes Easter the England No 8 but, overall, the outcome rewarded two teams for their adventure, ambition and belief in positive rugby.
Van Gisbergen and Nick Evans kicked seven goals each, but it was Evans' contribution in general play that truly sparkled. His opposite number, Riki Flutey, looked less comfortable, lacking the kicking game to go with his undoubted vision and flair.
It proved to be an eventful competitive debut for Wales back-row Andy Powell who combined with Tom Vardnell and Tom Rees for a fine try after 23 minutes. Van Gisbergen's conversion hauled Wasps level at 13-13, and Wasps then stormed ahead when Flutey off-loaded superbly in contact for Varndell to score his 52nd Premiership try in front of England selectors.
Van Gisbergen's sixth successful kick edged Wasps further ahead on 51 minutes, at which stage Quins lost patience with their struggling front row and rolled out the changes en bloc.
They recaptured the lead in the 67th minute when centres Jordan Turner-Hall and George Lowe combined just inside the Wasps 22, and the finish was delivered wide left by full-back Mike Brown. But in a gripping last act, Van Gisbergen's reply ensured the sides split the points.
Wasps: Tries Powell, Varndell; Conversions Van Gisbergen (2); Penalties Van Gisbergen (5). Harlequins: Tries Easter, Brown; Conversions Evans (2); Penalties Evans (5).
Wasps M van Gisbergen; R Haughton (Walder, 63), B Jacobs, D Waldouck, T Varndell; R Flutey, N Berry; T Payne (Taulato, 62), R Webber (Lindsay, 70), P Vickery (Broster, 70), S Shaw, R Birkett (Betsen, 40), J Worsley, T Rees (c), A Powell (Ward-Smith, 45).
Harlequins M Brown; T Williams, G Lowe, J Turner-Hall, U Monye (Smith, 69); N Evans, D Care (Dickson, 62); C Jones (Marler, 51), C Brooker (Cairns, 51), M Lambert (Johnston, 51), O Kohn (Guest, 55), T Vallejos (Browne, 75), C Robshaw (c), N Easter, W Skinner.
Referee C White.
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food