Premiership: Harlequins 53-17 Newcastle Falcons

Joe Marchant
Joe Marchant is Harlequins' joint leading try-scorer this season with eight in 24 games
Aviva Premiership
Harlequins (27) 53
Tries: Buchanan, Brown, Marchant, Yarde, Luamanu, Care, Swiel Cons: Evans 6 Pens: Evans 2
Newcastle: (10) 17
Tries: Takulua, Wilson Cons: Takulua, Delany Pen: Takulua

Harlequins improved their hopes of a top-six finish with a convincing victory over Newcastle at The Stoop.

Tane Takulua's try gave the visitors an early lead, but Rob Buchanan and Mike Brown crossed to put Quins in front.

Joe Marchant intercepted Joel Hodgson's pass to go over before the break, with Newcastle down to 14 men after Juan Pablo Socino was shown a yellow card.

Marland Yarde, Mat Luamanu, Danny Care and Tim Swiel added tries in the second half as the hosts earned a bonus point.

Nick Evans was perfect with his conversions and kicked two penalties to close to within seven points of Olly Barkley in fourth on the all-time Premiership points-scoring chart.

Quins were bolstered by the return of a number of international players from Six Nations duty, while former England captain Chris Robshaw also made his return after 12 weeks out with a shoulder injury.

Victory left the hosts sixth in the table, only one point behind fifth-placed Bath, but they face a challenging end to the season with games against all of the top three sides in their final four games.

Newcastle stay ninth in the table, having lost three consecutive games.

The Falcons also saw Rob Vickers taken off in the first half with a head injury, while Evan Olmstead became the second player to be sent to the sin-bin after the break on a miserable day for the visitors.

Harlequins director of rugby John Kingston: "For me the biggest thing today was about reintegrating the group back together from the injuries and the internationals.

"Mike Brown rightly gets the attention with the man of the match but there were several other players who could've taken that mantle."

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards: "With the England boys coming back, they had a point to prove after the Ireland game - had they won it might've been different but they had a point to prove.

"The team they left behind had been faring very well and doing really well so it probably was the wrong time to catch Harlequins.

"But having said that we still gifted them so many points on the day and that's probably the most frustrating thing."

Harlequins: Brown; Yarde, Marchant, Roberts, Visser; Evans, Care; Marler, Buchanan, Collier, Merrick, Horwill, Robshaw, Ward (capt), Luamanu.

Replacements: Gray, Lambert, Sinckler, Matthews, Clifford, Mulchrone, Swiel, Alofa.

Newcastle: Tait; Goneva, Waldouck, Socino, Sinoti; Hodgson, Takulua; Vickers, Lawson, Welsh, Green, Wilson, Chick, Welch (capt.), Latu.

Replacements: Sowrey, Harris, Wilson, Olmstead, Hogg, Young, Delany, Harris.

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