Harlequins vs Edinburgh Rugby, Sat, 14/01/2017 - 15:00

Edinburgh Rugby went top of Pool 5 in the European Challenge Cup with a 23-18 victory over Harlequins at Twickenham Stoop. 

The victory sees Edinburgh leapfrog today’s opponents in the pool table ahead of the final group stage game against Timisoara Saracens at Myreside next Friday (20 January).

Fraser McKenzie and Allan Dell scored either side of the turn, with Duncan Weir adding 13 points from the boot across the course of the match, while Quins managed to score two late consolation tries to close the final margin to five points despite trailing by 17 with only two minutes left on the clock.  

Edinburgh were first on the scoreboard with a Duncan Weir penalty in the 10th minute, before his opposite number, Tim Swiel, replied two minutes later with a successful shot at goal (3-3).

The visitors had a chance to regain the lead on 23 minutes, yet Blair Kinghorn was unable to hit the target with a difficult long-range penalty effort.

However, moments later lock McKenzie hit a lovely line off his second-row partner, Ben Toolis, to break through the defence and cruise in for the opening try of the game. Weir made no mistake with the conversion to extend his side’s lead (3-10).

Weir and Swiel exchanged penalties either side of the half-hour mark to take the score to 6-13 in favour of the visitors. The latter had a chance to reduce the deficit on the cusp of half-time yet failed to hit the mark with his third attempt at goal, keeping Edinburgh’s seven-point lead intact going into the interval.  

Half-time: Harlequins 6 – 13 Edinburgh Rugby

Quins were reduced to 14 men on 50 minutes when tighthead prop Kyle Sinckler was shown a yellow-card for an off-the-ball hit on Magnus Bradbury.

The visitors took full advantage of their extra man three minutes later with their second try of the game. Back-row Cornell Du Preez was the catalyst in breaking the initial line of defence and offloading to Hamish Watson, with the back-row duly delivering a wonderfully timed offload to prop Allan Dell, who sprinted in to score under the sticks.

Weir’s successful conversion gave his side a comfortable 20-6 lead after 55 minutes.

Dean was again to the fore on 70 minutes, breaking from a set-piece move to take his side to within metres of the Quins line. In desperation, the home side infringed at the subsequent ruck and Weir added another three points with the boot (6-23).

Quins launched a late foray scoring twice through replacements Mat Luamanu and Joe Gray, yet it wasn’t enough to overcome Edinburgh, who are now in pole position to qualify for a European quarter-final going into the final round of pool games.

Full-time: Harlequins 18 – 23 Edinburgh Rugby

Team lineups

Harlequins
Edinburgh Rugby

Backs

15 Mike Brown
14 Marland Yarde
13 Alofa Alofa
12 Joe Marchant
11 Charlie Walker
10 Tim Swiel
9 Danny Care

Backs

15
14
13
12
11
10
9

Forwards

1 Dan Murphy
2 Rob Buchanan
3 Kyle Sinckler
4 George Merrick
5 Charlie Matthews
6 James Chisholm
7 Dave Ward
8 Jack Clifford

Forwards

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

Substitutes

16 Joe Gray
17 Adam Jones
18 Matt Shields
19 Mat Luamanu
20 Luke Wallace
21 Karl Dickson
22 Ruaridh Jackson
23 Matt Hopper

Substitutes

16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23

European Rugby Challenge Cup 2016/17 table

PosTeamPWLDPts
1Edinburgh Rugby752024
2Stade Francais21106
3La Rochelle11004
4Harlequins20203
5Timisoara Saracens20200

European Rugby Challenge Cup 2016/17 latest results

Edinburgh Rugby 22 v 32
Edinburgh Rugby 49 v 3 Timisoara Saracens
Harlequins 18 v 23 Edinburgh Rugby
Stade Francais 26 v 20 Edinburgh Rugby
Edinburgh Rugby 28 v 23 Stade Francais