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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,

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
Sunday 26th October
European Rugby Champions Cup
17:15Wasps vs Harlequins
Sunday 2nd November
LV= Cup
13:00Saracens vs Harlequins
Friday 7th November
19:45Harlequins vs Newport Gwent D'gons
Friday 14th November
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19:45Gloucester vs Harlequins
Friday 21st November
19:45Harlequins vs Sale
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19:45Bath vs Harlequins
Saturday 6th December
European Rugby Champions Cup
TBCHarlequins vs Leinster
Saturday 13th December
TBCLeinster vs Harlequins
Saturday 20th December
Aviva Premiership
15:00Harlequins vs Newcastle
Saturday 27th December
15:00Harlequins vs Northampton
Sunday 4th January
14:30London Welsh vs Harlequins
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15:00Harlequins vs Leicester
Saturday 17th January
European Rugby Champions Cup
TBCHarlequins vs Wasps
Saturday 24th January
TBCCastres vs Harlequins
Saturday 31st January
LV= Cup
15:00Harlequins vs Bath
Today's Results
Result
Harlequins
Friday 17th October
European Rugby Champions Cup
Harlequins 25 - 9 Castres
Friday 10th October
Aviva Premiership
Leicester 22 - 16 Harlequins
Saturday 4th October
Harlequins 52 - 0 London Welsh
Sunday 28th September
Exeter 36 - 13 Harlequins
Saturday 20th September
Harlequins 26 - 23 Wasps
Friday 12th September
Harlequins 0 - 39 Saracens
Saturday 6th September
London Irish 15 - 20 Harlequins

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Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

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