Harlequins 34 Northampton 19: Gomarsall and Jarvis build Quins' first victory in style

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Harlequins' first Premiership win of the seasonarrived in some style. Despite their scrum being under enormous pressure, they managed to shake off a poor first half, in which they managed a single try and a lead of 13-6, to impose their game on the second. At least they did until the final five minutes, when they conceded two tries, but the game was won.

They did it through unstinting work by the back row, in which Nick Easter was exceptional, but also through the half-backs, Andy Gomarsall and Adrian Jarvis. The latter, the fly-half, was outstanding.

With the 18-year-old Jordan Turner-Hall outside him, he provided an attacking thrust. The broad scope of Quins' play was exemplified by their four tries. The first, in the 23rd minute, came from a deft cross-field kick to Simon Keogh. The second was finished by Gomarsall after a break by Turner-Hall, the third came from an overlap on the right exploited by Gomarsall and Jarvis for Keogh to score his second, and the bonus-point clincher was a neat sally by Jarvis himself.

The performance was marred only an injury to the Saints centre Luke Myring in the 77th minute. "How the hell does someone get poleaxed like that in the middle of the field after the ball has gone?" asked the Saints coach, Paul Grayson. Citings may follow.

"This performance has been coming for a bit," said the Quins coach, Dean Richards. "We have a superb team spirit and now as players like Stuart Abbott come back I have genuine competition for places. We have benefited from stability, though, in the last few weeks, so no one gets straight back in the side."

Harlequins: Tries Keogh 2, Gomarsall, Jarvis; Conversions Jarvis 4; Penalties Jarvis 2. Northampton: Tries Lamont, Robinson; Penalties Spencer 3.

Harlequins: M Brown; T Williams, G Duffy, J Turner-Hall, S Keogh; A Jarvis (C McMullen, 77), A Gomarsall (D Care, 73); C Jones, T Fuga (J Richards, 73) , M Ross (L Ward, 73), O Kohn, N Spanghero, A Vos, P Volley ( capt), N Easter (C Hala'Ufia, 66)

Northampton: I Vass; S Lamont, R Davies (V Going, 58), L Myring (J Howard, 77), C Wyles; C Spencer, M Robinson, T Smith, S Thompson (D Hartley, 74), C Budgen (P Barnard, 57), D Browne, C Short (D Gérard, 57), P Tupai, D Fox (capt), D Browne (M Easter, 59).

Referee: T Spreadbury (Gloucestershire).