Evans picks Quins off the floor to end losing run

Newcastle 17 Harlequins 17
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The Independent Online

Harlequins found some relief after a summer of scandal as they ended their losing run with a draw against Newcastle at Kingston Park last night.

The fallout from the "Bloodgate" affair had followed Quins back on to the pitch this season with four successive defeats but a strong second-half comeback offered some respite for last year's Guinness Premiership play-off semi-finalists. For Newcastle it was a third draw in four matches and both teams remain winless this season.

Newcastle quickly established a 14-3 lead with tries from Tane Tu'ipulotu and Tim Swinson, both benefactors of fine work from the impressive Micky Young. The Newcastle No 9 nine, returning from injury, achieved the rare distinction of upstaging England scrum-half Danny Care in the first half.

But Harlequins and Care responded in the second half with Ugo Monye's try as he burst into the line from full-back to go over in the corner unopposed, giving them hope before the boot of New Zealander Nick Evans salvaged a draw for the visitors. The late sending of Rob Vickers to the sin bin for constant infringements had lifted Quins and Evans levelled matters with two penalties. However, a late drop goal sailed wide from Evans as a first win eluded them.

Newcastle: A Tait; Amesbury, Vickerman (Bobo, 72), Tu'ipulotu, Biggs; Gopperth, Young; Golding, Thompson (Vickers, 56), Ward (Ovens, 35), Hudson, Swinson, Browne (Sorenson, 72), Wilson, Levi (Balding, 58). Replacements not used: Charlton, Miller, Brooks.

Harlequins: Monye; Strettle, Lowe, Masson, Camacho; N Evans, Care; Jones, Botha (Fuga, 62), Lambert, Stevenson, J Evans, Robshaw (Guest, 62), Skinner, Easter. Replacements not used: Croall, Johnston, O'Conor, G Williams, Clegg, Drauniniu.

Referee: T Wigglesworth (RFU).

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