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Aviva Premiership: Harlequins battled to away win at Leicester

Last updated: 2nd November 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Nick Easter Harlequins Aviva Premiership Welford Road

Nick Easter: Harlequins forward scored one of his side's two tries

Nick Evans Neil Briggs Aviva Premiership Welford Road Leicester Tigers Harlequins

Nick Evans: Harlequins stand-off kicked 14 points

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Harlequins maintained their status as Leicester Tigers' bogey team by chalking up a fourth win in six visits to Welford Road.

Quins thoroughly deserved their 23-16 success after dominating the Aviva Premiership champions for much of the game and scoring two tries, through former England No.8 Nick Easter and centre Matt Hopper.

Full-back Nick Evans converted both and also kicked three penalties, while Leicester scored a penalty try in the 80th minute, which was converted by fly-half Owen Williams who also kicked three penalties for the Tigers.

Harlequins' win meant they leapfrogged Leicester in the table and will lead to much soul searching at the Tigers who have now won just one of their past five matches in all competitions.

Errors

Harlequins, fresh from a win over Sale which ended a four-match losing run, dominated the first half and turned around with a 10-6 lead which could easily have been more but for a glut of errors which ruined promising build-up play.

At one point they had conceded nine penalties to Leicester's one, forcing referee Tim Wigglesworth to warn captain Easter about their future conduct.

Those penalties allowed Leicester to take a 6-0 lead but Harlequins' better play was eventually rewarded with a try under the posts by Easter in time added on.

Leicester had the benefit of a strong, swirling wind in the first half and Welsh fly-half Williams took full advantage by drilling two long-range penalties straight between the posts in the eighth and 18th minutes. He was also close with a third.

Quins twice turned down shots at goal because of the wind and went for the lineout and drive option but failed to take advantage due to their poor execution, not the least dropped passes.

Such was Harlequins' dominance that it took Leicester 28 minutes to get into the visitors' 22, and that was thanks to a long clearance by flanker Julian Salvi.

Leicester failed to take advantage and after Evans had put Quins back in the game with a 37th-minute penalty, the full-back almost scored in the left corner but was denied by some great scrambling defence by the Tigers.

Leicester won the line-out but conceded a scrum and Quins, for once, took advantage of a strong attacking position when Easter drove over from close range, with Evans slotting the conversion.

Darted

Harlequins made a strong start to the second half and after fly-half Ben Botica missed a long-range penalty, centre Hopper cut inside off the left wing and darted under the posts, with Evans adding the conversion.

That put Quins 17-6 ahead, which soon became 17-9 after Williams kicked his third penalty.

With a 24,000 sell-out crown finding their voice, the Tigers suddenly discovered another gear and Harlequins found themselves under pressure after a clearance kick was charged down.

But Leicester failed to change the scoreboard and when Quins broke out of defence they won a penalty in the Leicester 22 and Evans made it 20-9.

In the 73rd minute the Kiwi kicked his third penalty to make it 23-9 but Leicester hit back with a penalty try, converted by Williams, in the final minute.

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Aviva Premiership
Friday 3rd October
Aviva Premiership
19:45Bath vs Saracens
Saturday 4th October
15:00Harlequins vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Northampton
15:15Gloucester vs Leicester
Sunday 5th October
14:00Sale Sharks vs Wasps
15:00Newcastle vs Exeter
Friday 10th October
19:45Leicester vs Harlequins
Saturday 11th October
14:30London Welsh vs Newcastle
15:00Saracens vs Gloucester
15:00Exeter vs London Irish
15:15Northampton vs Sale Sharks
Sunday 12th October
14:00Wasps vs Bath
Friday 14th November
19:45Gloucester vs Harlequins
19:45Northampton vs Exeter
Saturday 15th November
14:00Sale vs London Irish
17:00Bath vs Newcastle
Sunday 16th November
13:00Leicester vs Saracens
15:15Wasps vs London Welsh
Friday 21st November
19:45Harlequins vs Sale
20:00Newcastle vs Gloucester
Saturday 22nd November
15:00London Irish vs Bath
15:00Exeter vs Wasps
Sunday 23rd November
13:00Saracens vs Northampton
15:15London Welsh vs Leicester
Friday 28th November
19:45Bath vs Harlequins

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