Quins sent crashing as two-try Scarbrough sparkles

Leeds 23 Harlequins 18
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Two moments of Scarbrough flair were enough to send Harlequins crashing to defeat at Headingley yesterday. Dan, Dan the magic man on the Leeds' right wing, scored two marvellous tries, each from 80 metres out, to keep alive Tykes' hopes of Premiership survival, with an unexpected victory which lifts them above Wasps at the foot of the table.

Harlequins had no one to blame but themselves, falling away after a bright start, with a numbing display of stumbling ineptitude. Forget the scoreline. Dan Luger's second try came in stoppage time, by which time Leeds had collected their fourth win of the season; one more than the Londoners.

''I expected us to win today," John Kingston, Quins' head coach, said. ''But the danger when you go into games like this, you treat sides differently. But we weren't hard-nosed enough and made too many unforced errors."

The day was supposed to be about Braam van Straaten, the Cape Town crusader, having his first game for the Yorkshire club. Had Leeds lost this one, they might have had to call for the Caped Crusader. However, Van Straaten contributed with a solid display at inside centre and 13 points from the boot, while it was his kick out of defence which led to Scarbrough's second try, and which consigned Quins to their third successive Premiership loss.

Quins began by giving Leeds a lesson in how to recycle the ball. They went through eight phases, inching towards the Leeds' line, without suggesting they were going to advance far enough beyond the gain line to reach goal. When Keith Wood's pass went to ground, the Leeds' defence remained rooted to the spot, while Luger scooped up the loose ball and scooted in for the softest of tries.

Leeds recovered from this piece of gormlessness, their pack began to put together some effective driving play, while Steve Bachop and Chris Kendra kicked imaginatively for position. With Luger, Jamie Williams, Paul Burke and Nick Burrows far from secure under the high ball, Bachop's next steepling effort was spilled by the full-back. The Leeds' forwards arrived en masse and, when the ball emerged, Will Greenwood interfered from an off-side position and was sin-binned. Van Straaten kicked the goal.

Leeds now had their tails up. Craig Emmerson ran from the home line, Bachop and Shaun Woof popped the ball over some Quins' heads for Scarbrough to set forth on a length-of-the-field kick and chase. He skinned both Williams and Scott Bemand for the try which van Straaten converted to take it to 13-5. Burke pulled a penalty back before the break, but Leeds had pulled themselves together after their dreadful start.

Burke and Van Straaten exchianged penalties soon after the restart, before the South African rescued Leeds behind their own posts and set Scarbrough on another gallop on which he outpaced Luger to seal the game. Not bad for a man playing junior rugby for Bradford Salem until recently.

Leeds: Tries Scarbrough 2; Conversions van Straaten 2; Penalties van Straaten 3. Harlequins: Tries Luger 2 Conversion Burke Penalty Burke.

Leeds: J Benson; D Scarbrough, S Woof, B van Straaten, C Emmerson; S Bachop, C Kendra; M Shelley (capt), R Rawlinson, G Kerr, C Murphy, T Palmer, C Hogg, D Hyde, I Feaunati.

Harlequins: J Williams (M Mapletoft, 51); M Moore, W Greenwood (capt), N Burrows, D Luger; P Burke, S Bemand; B Starr, K Wood, J Leonard, A Codling, B Davison (G Morgan, 54), R Winters, T Tamaru, T Diprose.

Referee: N Yates (Manchester).

Comments