Quins dig deep for victory but pay price with Easter injury

Worcester 22 Harlequins 26
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The Independent Online

Harlequins secured a second Premiership win of the season at Sixways on Saturday but their success came at a price as they lost their influential No 8 Nick Easter after little more than half an hour with a calf injury.

It was an impressive win for the visiting side but the question of Easter's fitness dominated the post-match talk.

When asked about the extent of the injury, Quins coach John Kingston said: ''It looks like he has a calf muscle injury. He is on crutches and it is impossible to say how many weeks he will be off but there is obviously a question mark as to whether he will be available for England's autumn internationals.''

Reflecting on the positives of his side's victory, Kingston said: ''It was a very physical game and all credit to the guys, they dug deep and its never easy to win here. We are getting back on track but realistically we are not going to progress further in the Heineken Cup and our aim it to qualify for that competition next season.''

Worcester coach Mike Ruddock said: ''We are very disappointed we didn't perform the way we wanted to and they deserved the victory. We huffed and puffed but we weren't the better team. We showed fortitude to get a bonus point but were not clinical enough. We hoped to make Sixways a fortress but we didn't.''

Worcester's front-row injury problems were accentuated by the loss of Tevita Taumoepeau after 19 minutes which placed both Worcester's scrum and lineout under pressure.

"Tevita has dislocated two fingers and the medical team will have to assess his injury in readiness for next week," added Ruddock. "In all probability we will have to out looking for a prop but we will have difficulty finding one good enough."

Worcester: Try Black; Conversion Walker; Penalties Walker 4; Drop goal Walker.

Harlequins: Tries Care, Brown; Conversion Evans, Clegg; Penalties Evans 2, Clegg 2.

Worcester: Latham; Gear, Grove, Tuitupou, Benjamin; Walker, Powell (Arr, 70; A Black (Gilding, 59), Lutui (Fortey, 63), Taumoepeau (C Black, 19), Rawlinson, Gillies (Bowley, 63), Wood, Sanderson, Talei (Collins, 73).

Harlequins: M Brown; Strettle (Drauniniu, 75), Lowe, Mordt, Monye; N Evans (Clegg, 58), Care; Jones, Fuga (Brooker, 61), Andress (Johnston, 61), Percival (Stevenson, 78), Robson, Robshaw, McMillan, Easter (Guest, 31).

Referee: T Wigglesworth.

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