Evans stars for Quins
Nick Evans gave a man-of-the-match performance as Harlequins raced to a 32-10 Guinness Premiership win against Wasps.
Last Updated: 16/11/08 5:50pm
Nick Evans gave a man-of-the-match performance on his home debut as Harlequins raced to a 32-10 Guinness Premiership victory against Wasps at the Twickenham Stoop.
The former All Black, who was making his first start since suffering a knee ligament injury in his Quins debut win over Saracens on the opening day of the season, ended the match with a personal haul of 19 points, comprising a try, four penalties and a conversion.
What's more, the fly-half was playing in the less accustomed role of full-back. But Evans' performance was nonetheless a match-winning one and his try, which handed Harlequins a 21-3 lead after only 28 minutes, was one of real quality.
An out-of-sorts Wasps outfit - who had Serge Betsen and Joe Worsley in their back row - also came off second best against an all-action opposing pack inspired by young captain Will Skinner, who gave the runners behind them the platform to perform.
The other Harlequins tries came from number eight Tom Guest and flanker Chris Robshaw, with fly-half Chris Malone putting them ahead after only 23 seconds with a long-range drop goal.
The home side found themselves 13-0 ahead after just seven minutes when Guest drove in from the base of a close-range ruck, with Evans converting.
He promptly stretched the lead further with a penalty Wasps conceded after straying offside in front of their own posts.
The visitors opened their own account when fly-half Jeremy Staunton kicked a 15th-minute penalty but Wasps' respite was only a short one as Harlequins dominated the opening period.
After Wasps were caught offside again, Evans struck his second penalty in the 19th minute before running in his stunning try, which was set up after centre Tosh Masson made the initial break.
Evans joined the threequarter line and although unmarked winger Charlie Amesbury was outside him, he elected instead to go it alone with a turn of speed that dispelled any doubts about his right knee, strapped as a precaution.
Wasps continued to commit indiscretions inside their own 22 and were punished twice more before half-time when a scrum offence and a third offside enabled Evans to kick further penalties.
The visitors were trailing 27-3 at the interval, with evidence that this was not going to be their afternoon coming three minutes into the second half when young centre Lachlan Mitchell allowed the ball to slip from his grasp as he dived for the line.
Then, just as it appeared as though nothing more could go wrong for Wasps it promptly did, with full-back Mark van Gisbergen the hapless victim.
A grubber kick from Malone bounced up and struck the former England player on the head, with Masson then booting the loose ball over the try-line for Robshaw to touch down.
Wasps' only try came in the 65th minute when second-half replacement scrum-half Joe Simpson beat three opponents on a run from the halfway line, with Dave Walder converting.