Premiership: Harlequins 26-23 Wasps

Ben Botica
Botica kicked five out of six shots at goal to lead Quins to victory over Wasps
Harlequins (9) 26
Tries: Robshaw, penalty try
Cons: Botica 2 Pens: Botica 3 Drop-goals: Care
Wasps (13) 23
Tries: Thompson, Varndell, Young
Cons: Goode Pens: Goode 2

Harlequins returned to winning ways with a second-half comeback at The Stoop to beat London rivals Wasps.

A try by Guy Thompson and eight points from the boot of Andy Goode gave Wasps a 13-9 lead at half-time.

Quins added to Ben Botica's three first-half penalties with a touchdown by Chris Robshaw and a penalty try, before Danny Care added a drop-goal.

Wasps winger Tom Varndell crossed in the corner before Thomas Young was driven over to set up a tense finish.

Harlequins went into this London derby desperate to make amends for the previous week's debacle against Saracens when they apologised to the home fans after the game.

But it was Wasps who silenced the home crowd when flanker Thompson touched down after good work by Varndell and Elliot Daly, with Goode converting.

The Stoop faithful may have had to watch 100 minutes of play to see their team open their account at home this season but Botica ended that drought with two penalties in quick succession to bring Quins to within a point.

Close finishes
The last three Premiership encounters between these two sides were all decided by one-point margins.

His opposite number, Goode, got in on the act with two kicks of his own before Botica added his third penalty to see the hosts trail by four at the break.

The home crowd's wait for a first try did not last long into the second half as England captain Robshaw profited from Christian Wade's fumble from Care's chip.

Botica added the extras before creating a second try minutes later when his hack through was chased to the line by full-back Mike Brown.

Referee JP Doyle summoned the help of the television match official, resulting in a yellow card for Wasps lock Kearnan Myall for tripping Botica as he attempted to follow his kick and a penalty try for Quins, as Brown was adjudged to have knocked the ball on over the line.

Care extended Harlequins' lead with a drop goal from an acute angle before a turnover for Wasps allowed Joe Simpson to release Varndell to cross out wide, with Goode unable to add the extra two points.

A yellow card for home lock Charlie Matthews for a deliberate knock-on allowed Wasps to kick to the corner and from the resultant maul Thomas Young was driven over, with Goode again failing to add the conversion.

Harlequins were able to play out the remaining few minutes with 14 men to secure a much-needed home win but, for Wasps, a losing bonus point was all they had to show for their endeavours.

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea:

"Mentally and physically that was the reaction we wanted - it would be robotic not to have tension and nervousness after last week.

"It was far from perfect but I didn't expect perfection. This game was about our players fronting up and showing what it meant to them.

"We had rabid intensity at the start of the second half which was all-consuming.

"This team showed it likes a fight and we were spoiling for one after last week."

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young, on the duel between James Haskell and Chris Robshaw:

"It's not for me to talk about another team's player, but it's very rare that Chris Robshaw doesn't play very well.

"Haskell is easily our most effective performer in the tackle area.

"He tops our tackle count every week and he's taken to the captaincy like a duck to water."

Harlequins: Brown; Yarde, Sloan, Turner-Hall, Tikoirotuma; Botica, Care; Marler (capt), Ward, Sinckler; Matthews, Robson; Wallace, Robshaw, Easter.

Replacements: Buchanan, Lambert, Collier, Merrick, Clifford, Dickson, Grimoldby, Lindsay-Hague.

Wasps: Masi; Wade, Daly, Bell, Varndell; Goode, Simpson; Mullan, Lindsay, Cittadini; Launchbury, Myall; Haskell (capt), Thompson, Hughes.

Replacements: Johnson, Yapp, Cooper-Woolley, Gaskell, Young, Davies, Miller, Leiua.

Top Stories