Home team Away Team

Harlequins

  • Marler,
    Penalty goals: Evans (6),
    Conversions: Evans,
25 - 23

Northampton

  • Dickson,
    Penalty goals: Lamb (6),
  • Aviva Premiership
  • Semi Final
  • 12th May 2012
  • KO 14:45
  • Ground: The Stoop
  • Att: 12,192

Marler sends Quins to final

Prop scores late try to settle tense affair at Twickenham Stoop

By Mark Kendall - Twitter: @SkySportsMK   Last updated: 13th May 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Harlequins Northampton semi final

Maurie Fa'asavalu powers his way through Northampton's defence

Joe Marlet try Harlequins Northampton

Harlequins celebrate as Marler powers over after a big forward surge

Related links

Teams

Also see

Prop Joe Marler rumbled over for a late try as Harlequins produced a stirring finish to clinch a dramatic 25-23 win over Northampton that sealed their place in the Aviva Premiership final.

A predictably tense affair had been dominated by the boots off Ryan Lamb and Nick Evans, with both fly-halves kicking six penalties as the two packs battled for forward superiority.

Lee Dickson appeared to have put Saints on course for victory as he capped a fine move to score the game's opening try on 65 minutes - pushing his side into an eight-point lead.

But Quins held their nerve and battled back in impressive fashion and, after Marler bulldozed over following a tremendous forward drive, Evans landed a crucial conversion to send his side into the Twickenham final for the first time.

With so much at stake, the first half proved a predictably cagey affair and was dominated by defence and also the referee's whistle - especially with Andrew Small proving strict around the breakdown.

Northampton hooker Andy Long was the first man to be penalised and, after an altercation between brothers Lee and Karl Dickson, Quins saw their penalty moved forward ten yards allowing Evans an easier chance to open the scoring, which he accepted.

Lamb levelled on ten minutes when Olly Kohn was pinged for collapsing a maul and, after Evans had produced a surprisingly miss from 30 metres, edged his side ahead as his penalty attempt from close to halfway just crept over the upright.

But almost from the restart Saints were pulled up at the breakdown on their own 22 as Christian Day was adjudged not to have moved away - this time Evans made no mistake to restore parity at 6-6.

It did not last long, though, Lamb kicking a third penalty after Quins were again penalised for collapsing the maul - the offence this time drawing a team warning from referee Small.

With the packs dominating, Northampton winger Paul Diggin offered the first real menace from either three-quarter line just before the half-hour mark with a darting break down the left touchline. But it was to come to nothing and Lamb saw his perfect kicking record come to an end when he fired a long-range effort wide.

Yellow card

The visitors were then required to produce some desperate sliding defence on their try-line to keep Quins at bay, but eventually Roger Wilson turned to illegal means and was shown a yellow card.

In doing so referee Small stopped a frustrated Mike Brown from taking a quick penalty with Northampton's defence exposed, meaning the hosts had to settle for an Evans penalty to again level the scores.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Saints did lead at the break as Lamb booted a fourth penalty on 36 minutes after Kohn was caught offside.

But it was Harlequins who started the second period in much the brighter fashion with their pack beginning to get the upper hand in the forward arm-wrestle.

Their dominance of both territory and possession was rewarded on 47 minutes when Evans levelled matters with his fourth successful kick and, after Nick Easter had burst through to wrap up Dickson and secure another penalty, the New Zealander edged his side in front from the Northampton 22.

The signs appeared ominous for the visitors, but Quins immediately gifted Northampton a penalty of their own when Kohn was pulled up for obstruction from the restart and, having levelled, Lamb then came up with a midfield interception from which Saints would earn another penalty as the retreating Quins defence were caught offside.

Lamb bisected the posts to put Northampton 18-15 up and moments later the momentum appeared to have shifted decisively as, first, Evans pushed a penalty attempt wide, then, Dickson scored his try.

The score came on the back of the game's outstanding move, Ben Foden hitting the line before releasing winger Vasily Artemyev - playing in place of the injured Chris Ashton.

Artemyev's subsequent pass to George Pisi appeared fractionally forward but was not spotted by the officials and Dickson was then on hand to collect James Downey's offload before diving over.

Crucially, however, Lamb would miss a relatively straightforward conversion which looked increasingly costly as Evans kicked his sixth penalty with ten minutes remaining to bring the hosts within five.

The try the home fans craved, and Lamb and Northampton feared, then duly arrived four minutes from time as Marler powered over on the back of a huge forward push, Evans keeping his cool to slot the extras from in front.

Sky Bet Odds:

Click Here for Your Free Bet

Comments (2)

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

Tristan Lambeth says...

Well done Quins.....hard game with the right result, we should have had an earlier try, which the ref wrongly rejected, and it looked like a forward pass for the Saints try.Joe Marler for England!!!

Posted 19:09 12th May 2012

Ashley Woodward-bridgett says...

Well done Quins good win couple of time a quick pen and line out should have been allowed for tries but in the end it turned out good. Needless to say i'm a biased Quins fan full of joy and excitement. now can watch the other semi final with comfort. So so happy.Come on Quins

Posted 16:48 12th May 2012

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1
Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 28th November
Aviva Premiership
19:45Bath vs Harlequins
Saturday 29th November
15:00Leicester Tigers vs Wasps
16:30Exeter vs Saracens
Sunday 30th November
13:00London Irish vs Gloucester
14:30London Welsh vs Northampton
15:15Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks
Saturday 20th December
14:00Sale vs Exeter
15:00Gloucester vs Bath
15:00Saracens vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Newcastle
15:00Northampton vs Leicester
Sunday 21st December
14:00Wasps vs London Irish
Friday 26th December
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh
Saturday 27th December
14:00Sale vs Leicester
15:00Bath vs Exeter
15:00Newcastle vs Saracens
15:00Gloucester vs Wasps
15:00Harlequins vs Northampton
Saturday 3rd January
15:00Exeter vs Gloucester
15:00Saracens vs London Irish
15:00Leicester vs Bath
15:00Northampton vs Newcastle
Sunday 4th January
14:00Wasps vs Sale
14:30London Welsh vs Harlequins
Saturday 10th January
14:00Sale vs Northampton

Experts & Blogs

Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com