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Zebre

  • Chillon, Sarto,
    Conversions: Orquera (2),
14 - 57

Harlequins

  • Penalty (2), Easter, Botica, Smith (2), Buchanan, Hooper,
    Penalty goals: Evans,
    Conversions: Evans (6), Botica,
  • European Rugby Champions Cup
  • Pool 3
  • 8th Dec 2012
  • KO 13:35
  • Ground: Stadio XXV Aprile
  • Att: 2,500

Heineken Cup: Harlequins maintain perfect record with crushing win over Zebre

Last updated: 8th December 2012  

Nick Easter Harlequins

Nick Easter: Touched down for Quins with a 43rd minute try

Sam Smith Harlequins

Sam Smith: Scored two first-half tries for Harlequins in their Heineken Cup romp

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Harlequins have moved a step closer to clinching a place in the Heineken Cup play-offs following a crushing 57-14 victory over Zebre.

The Aviva Premiership leaders made light work of the RaboDirect PRO12 strugglers, outscoring their hosts by seven tries to two.

Sam Smith scored two first-half tries for Quins with Leonardo Sarto touching down for the Italians three minutes before half time.

However, the visitors remained perfect in Pool Three thanks to further tires from Nick Easter, Matt Hopper, a penalty try, Rob Buchanan and Ben Botica.

Harlequins' first try came for Smith on 26 minutes, a routine dash for the corner after the Zebre defence had been stretched on the back of a Maurie Fa'asavalu turnover.

Nick Evans converted, adding to an earlier penalty, and already it looked as though the game was up for a desperately limited Zebre side, who failed to get out of their own half in the opening half hour.

Things went from bad to worse for the hapless Italians when serial offender Mauro Bergamasco was sent to the sin-bin for a ruck offence.

With that it looked as though the floodgates would open, and Smith helped himself to a second try after linking superbly with Tom Williams. Again Evans converted to leave Quins 17-0 up and coasting.

Complacency cost Quins as they went in search of a third try before half-time, and it was Zebre who instead struck next, Leonardo Sarto racing away after one too many passes cost Quins.

It was shortlived joy for Zebre, and Quins were back in business within three minutes of the restart as Easter bagged their third try after the visiting forwards wrestled the home pack into submission.

Danny Care, Matt Hopper and Mike Brown all went close to adding a fourth, but in the end it was the forwards that took the plaudits, forcing a penalty try after dominating the home scrum.

They would do so again later in the half as Zebre went into meltdown, and sandwiched in between was a fine individual try by Hopper, who showed great footwork to outmanoeuvre the home defence.

He was eclipsed shortly after, however, by substitute prop Buchanan, who scored with practically his first touch after another irresistible attack by rampant Quins.

A late try by Alberto Chillon proved scant consolation for a disillusioned Zebre, and it was left to another substitute, Botica, to wrap up the scoring for Quins.

With Biarritz losing to Connacht on Friday night, Quins' destiny now lies in their own hands and victory in next week's return against Zebre will effectively seal their passage through to the quarter-finals.

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Forthcoming Harlequins Fixtures
TimeFixture
Harlequins
Saturday 20th December
Aviva Premiership
15:00Harlequins vs Newcastle Falcons
Saturday 27th December
16:30Harlequins vs Northampton
Sunday 4th January
14:30London Welsh vs Harlequins
Saturday 10th January
15:15Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers
Saturday 17th January
European Rugby Champions Cup
TBCHarlequins vs Wasps
Saturday 24th January
TBCCastres vs Harlequins
Saturday 31st January
LV= Cup
14:40Harlequins vs Bath
Saturday 7th February
15:00Gloucester vs Harlequins
Sunday 15th February
Aviva Premiership
14:00Wasps vs Harlequins
Saturday 21st February
15:00Harlequins vs Exeter
Saturday 28th February
15:00Northampton vs Harlequins
Saturday 7th March
15:00Harlequins vs London Irish
Today's Results
Result
Harlequins
Saturday 13th December
European Rugby Champions Cup
Leinster 14 - 13 Harlequins
Sunday 7th December
Harlequins 24 - 18 Leinster
Friday 28th November
Aviva Premiership
Bath 25 - 6 Harlequins
Friday 21st November
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale Sharks
Friday 14th November
Gloucester 15 - 22 Harlequins
Friday 7th November
LV= Cup
Harlequins 31 - 21 Newport Gwent D'gons
Sunday 2nd November
Saracens 25 - 20 Harlequins

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