Mighty Quins have way too much in tank for Connacht
“Quins are a good side – one of my three teams to win the cup. We got punished today for our errors, our mistakes, and that’s what good teams will do.”
Connacht were under pressure up front, but after 35 minutes, the score remained 6-3. Former All Black Nick Evans posted two penalties, between which Matthew Jarvis opened for Connacht, who had carved out two scoring chances in that opening period.
Quins were let off the hook when a break from Tiernan O’Halloran resulted in the concession of yet another penalty in the opening half.
Quins, however, seized their opportunity, kicking a penalty to touch and, from the resulting reset of a five-metre scrum, Scottish referee Neil Patterson awarded a penalty try. Evans stretched the lead with the conversion and a penalty.
Within in a minute Quins’ fullback Mike Brown’s weaving run set up right wing Tom Williams for a soft try and, with Connacht down to 13 men after first Johnny O’Connor and Fetu Vainikolo were binned, Williams added his second.
During Connacht’s third yellow after fisticuffs between replacement Ethienne Reynecke and Joe Marler, O’Connor did well to dive over from a lineout for his side’s only try before Ugo Moyne celebrated his 200th club appearance with Quins’ fourth try two minutes later. Two late tries later George Lowe and Ben Botica added to the hosts’ triumph.
“We got punished today for our errors, our mistakes, and that’s what good teams will do.”
HARLEQUINS: M Brown; T Williams, M Hopper, T Casson, U Monye; N Evans, D Care; J Marler, J Gray, J Johnston), O Kohn, G Robson, M Fa’asavalu, C Robshaw, N Easter. Replacements: G Lowe for Hopper (54), T Guest for Easter (54), R Buchanan for Gray (58), K Dickson for Care (66), M Lambert for Marler (67), W Collier for Johnson (66), B Botica for Casson (69). Sin bin: Marler (60).
CONNACHT: R Henshaw; T O’Halloran, E Griffin, D McSharry, F Vainikolo; M Jarvis, K Marmion; D Buckley, J Harris-Wright, N White, M Swift, M McCarthy, A Browne, J O’Connor, E McKeon. Replacements: M Kearney for McKeon (14) B Wilkinson for Buckley (43), M Nikora for Jarvis (49), R Loughney for White (49), E Reynecke for Harris-Wright (54), E Grace for Swift (54), J Loxton for O’Halloran (66), P O’Donohoe for Marmion (66). Sin bin: O’Connor (50), Vainikolo (52), Reynecke (60).
Referee: Neil Patterson (RFU)