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Clinical Quins beat Wasps A

London Wasps A 15 - 42 Harlequins A

A clinical Harlequins A side were too strong for London Wasps A, with a 15-42 win at Maidenhead RFC in the Aviva A League on Monday night. In a game that was, despite the scoreline, very even, with chances for both sides, the visitors took their opportunities more effectively and came out deserved winners. Aided by the artificial surface, both sides looked to play an expansive game that proved to warm up the sizeable crowd at Maidenhead.

Harlequins were the first to threaten when Charlie Walker leapt to claim the ball from a Jack Moates box kick, landed and proceeded to weave a way through the Wasps defence, gaining almost 50 metres before he was finally brought down. The ball was recycled but the visitors couldn’t make the most of the chance; the ball not finding hands and Tommy Bell was able to hack the ball clear.

Wasps, however, were the first to put points on the board after 12 minutes of play. After a good period, in which Wasps held onto possession well, probing at the Harlequins defence just inside the visitors’ half. Eventually the hosts were awarded a penalty for hands in the ruck, straight in front of the posts and just over 40 metres out. Bell took the option for three points and had no problem, dissecting the posts to make the score 3-0.

Harlequins came back immediately from the resulting kick off when Walker chased a neat restart from Louis Grimoldby, winning back possession for his side. Harlequins moved quickly into the Wasps 22 utilising the forwards with a number of strong carries, before spreading the ball wide, where Joe Marchant ran a nice line to leave the Wasps defence slightly flat footed and get himself over the line for his side’s first score. Grimoldby had no issue with the extras, making the score 3-7 with 14 minutes gone.

From the restart, Wasps looked to emulate their counterparts, retrieving the ball immediately and moving deep into the Harlequins half with a strong run from Oscar Hirskyj-Douglas and good interplay from Moates and Bell. Unfortunately, the move broke down when the ball didn’t find hands out wide and Harlequins were able to clear their lines.

Both sides had chances to add to their scores from penalties but the attempts from Bell and Grimoldby respectively were both wide of the mark and with half an hour played the scoreboard remained 3-7 to the visitors.

It was Harlequins who came away with the next score, when, after 37 minutes Charlie Matthews bundled over for a try, which was duly converted by Grimoldby. Despite Wasps looking the more likely to score, with a number of promising passages of build up play, the visitors took advantage of their chance, extending their lead to eleven points with the score at 3-14.

With the wind at their sails Harlequins quickly made their new-found ascendancy tell, moving the ball nicely and carrying well, eventually cracking open the Wasps defence for Walker to race through under the posts to make Grimoldby’s task of converting elementary. The score was now unpleasant reading for the home fans, who had seen their side play most of the rugby but fail to capitalise and fall behind 3-21.

After 39 minutes Ricky Reeves was replaced by Alex Lundberg.

Before the break Wasps grabbed a try, forcing themselves deep into the opposition 22 with a mazy run from George Eastwell, recycling the ball well, spreading it wide to find Ben West who showed good strength to bundle over. Bell was unsuccessful with the conversion attempt from the touchline to leave the score at 8-21 at the interval.

At halftime Wasps brought on Harry Williams for Phil Swainston.

Harlequins got the first score of the second half, when Tim Molenaar went over under the posts. The visitors built up patiently, working their way through the phases and keeping hold of the ball well. A penalty gave them good field position for a lineout, from which the Wasps defence held them well, but when it splintered the Quins players were the first to react, recycling well and spreading the ball wide where Molenaar ran a hard line and bundled over the whitewash. Grimoldby added the extras to make the score 28-8 with 49 minutes played.

Despite a now sizeable 20 point margin, Wasps were still well in the game in terms of possession and chances and they were the next to score. After occupying the opposition 22 for a sustained period Wasps looked to the short game, with strong one out carries from the forward pack. After bombarding the Quins tight defence the visitors finally broke with Alex Lundberg crashing over. Bell nailed a tough conversion to narrow the gap to 13, with the score at 15-28 with 58 minutes played.

Wasps then brought on Patterson, McGregor and James for Eastwell, Peters and Cochrane.

After a 15 minute deadlock Harlequins stretched their lead when Jack Clifford went over for the visitors. Good defence from Wasps could only last so long before the pressure told and the former England U20 captain rode a half tackle to get over the line. Grimoldby added the extras to make the score 15-35 with 75 minutes played.

Harlequins added to their score with the final play of the game. The visitors turned the ball over on their own 22 after a great break of Hirkyj-Douglas that saw him weave his way through the Quins defence, fending two players on his way. A lack of numbers in support saw Quins turn the ball over, spreading it wide to Grimoldby, who fed Walker for the winger to race down the field for a final try. Grimoldy added the conversion to leave the final score at 15-42.


London Wasps
15 Liam O'Neill
14 Charles Incledon
13 Andrew Suniula
12 George Eastwell
11 Tom Howe
10 Tommy Bell
9 Jack Moates
1 Ricky Reeves
2 Neil Cochrane
3 Phil Swainston
4 Ben West
5 Adam Peters
6 Oscar Hirsky-Douglas
7 Matt Everard Capt.
8 Ollie Steadman
Replacements
16 Sam James
17 Alex Lundberg
18 Harry Williams
19 Tom McGregor
20 Tommy Spinks
21 Ollie Frost
22 Gus Patterson
23 Alex Harrison

Harlequins

15 Sam Katz
14 Charlie Walker
13 Joe Marchant
12 Tim Molenaar
11 Warren Abrahams
10 Louis Grimoldby
9 Jordan Burns
1 Darryl Marfo
2 Harry Allen
3 Nick Mayhew
4 George Merrick
5 Charlie Matthews
6 Sam Twomey
7 Jack Clifford (Capt)
8 James Chisholm
Replacements
16 Tom Cobb
17 Seb Adeniran-Olule
18 Harry Elrington
19 Henry Cheeseman
20 Harry Rowland
21 Sam Stuart
22 Howard Graham
23 Tommy Fuller

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