Harlequins 26 Scarlets 33 match report: Quins coach sees red after 'worst' defeat

Conor O'Shea 'furious' as Scarlets tries by three different Williamses seal win

the stoop

Call the competition what you like, broadcast it on whatever channel you wish, divvy the proceeds up by endless negotiation if you must – but whatever the make-up of future cross-border tournaments turns out to be, let the paying punter hope and pray it is replete with good old knockabout Anglo-Welsh rucks such as this.

It ended with Quins' third home defeat of the season, prompting their director of rugby Conor O'Shea to launch an uncharacteristic broadside at his players. "I'm furious," he said. "There were some individuals who gave everything like Mike Brown, Nick Easter and Chris Robshaw who kept coming, but it's not a game of touch and that's what it looked like during some of [the Scarlets'] tries."

Asked if this was the most disappointed he had been after a match in his three and a half years at the club, during which they were Premiership champions in 2012, O'Shea agreed it was. "We have to man up and take the flak that comes our way," he added.

With one semi-final appearance between them in the last 11 seasons, neither Harlequins nor the Scarlets has been a big hitter in the recent history of the Heineken Cup, the competition which has an uncertain future with the English and French clubs seeking more power and more cash for their participation. Currently both these teams are mid-table in their respective leagues, the Aviva Premiership and RaboDirect Pro 12. But with a plethora of Williamses running wild, a dash of controversy as the Scarlets' prop Samson Lee got away with a yellow card when his boot made contact with Danny Care's head in the second half, and a questionable call near the end by Quins' captain Robshaw, this was cracking entertainment.

Lee was said by the television match official to have not taken enough care when he trod on Harlequins' England scrum-half at a 44th-minute ruck, but not with sufficient recklessness to warrant a red card. Harlequins were attempting to narrow a 10-point half-time deficit at that stage. The one-man advantage they held while Lee was off did them little good, not least because the Scarlets' centre Scott Williams pushing on the flank of a scrum that earned Scarlets a penalty kicked by Rhys Priestland to extend their lead to 26-13.

Thereafter the sacking of the Stoop, painfully familiar of late, was completed with a try down the left wing by Jordan Williams – after Joe Marler had the ball ripped by Scott Williams – replied to for Quins by Mike Brown. Trailing by seven points with two minutesleft, and with another Scarlets prop Phil John binned for pulling down a maul, Quins and Robshaw contentiously chose a line-out over the scrum. At length the ball went long to Paul Sackey on the left wing and he put in a toe in touch under pressure from Liam Williams, the Scarlets' full-back.

The Welsh region will remember that two years ago they won away to Northampton in their opening group match but failed to qualify. And today's match between Clermont and Racing Metro will indicate the true and possibly daunting balance of power in Pool Four.

For now the Scarlets will revel in the tries they scored. The first after seven minutes was a handling extravaganza begun by the visitors' captain and Lions centre Jonathan Davies and taken on in an exchange between Priestland – making a case here to start for Wales next month – and Kristian Phillips before the scrum-half Rhodri Williams finished.

Two penalties by Priestland to one by Evans had Quins 13-3 down but heartened when Brown had his first try, taking Nick Easter's overhead pass after the No 8 had made the most of a bounce from Evans's cross-kick that foxed Liam Williams.

Just before the break Scarlets ripped Quins apart again, this time straight up the middle. Liam Williams caught a high ball and twisted his body to make a little ground before Scott Williams hared over the halfway line and never relented, throwing a couple of dummies on the way to a try converted by Priestland.

If the first-half tries showed Scarlets' prowess from long range, they might have been out of sight if they'd had the same success from the more obviously promising position of a five-metre scrum in the 28th minute. Instead an eventual overlap that needed a very quick take-and-give went unfinished.

Evans's drop goal was the curtain-raiser in a rousing second half, with Priestland and his Quins opposite number knocking over two more penalties each before Brown traced an unlikely arc into the right-hand corner with 72 minutes gone. Evans's conversion had Quins thinking of a draw. But Robshaw's line-out gamble did not come off.

Harlequins M Brown; T Williams, M Hopper (C Walker 65), B Botica, S Smith (P Sackey, 52); N Evans, D Care (K Dickson, 52); J Marler, R Buchanan (D Ward, 57), W Collier (K Sinckler 65), G Merrick (T Guest, 54), G Robson, M Fa'asavalu ,(L Wallace, 20), C Robshaw (capt), N Easter.

Scarlets L Williams; K Phillips (S Shingler, 23), J Davies (capt), S Williams, J Williams; R Priestland (G Maule, 70), R Williams (G Davies, 62); P John (R Evans, 70), E Phillips, S Lee (J Adriaanse, 53), J Ball (J Snyman, 62), G Earle, A Shingler (John, 80), J Barclay (Adriaanse, 47-53; C Price, 70), J Turnbull.

Referee J Lacey (Ireland).

Harlequins

Tries: Brown 2

Cons: Evans 2

Pens: Evans 3

Drop goal: Evans

Scarlets

Tries: R Williams, S Williams, J Williams

Cons: Priestland 3

Pens: Priestland 4

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions