Challenge Cup semi-final: Harlequins 30-6 Grenoble

By Brendon MitchellBBC Sport
Chris Robshaw
Five of England's Six Nations Grand Slam-winning team were on show for Harlequins, including Chris Robshaw
European Challenge Cup
Harlequins (13) 30
Tries: Roberts, Evans, Lowe Cons: Botica, Evans 2 Pens: Botica 2, Evans
Grenoble (6) 6
Pens: Wisniewski 2
Relive how Harlequins reached the European Challenge Cup final

Harlequins battled past French Top 14 side Grenoble to reach their fourth European Challenge Cup final.

Quins, who will face either Montpellier or Newport Gwent Dragons in Lyon on 13 May, led 13-6 at half-time following Wales centre Jamie Roberts' touchdown.

Nick Evans then scored a try on his first appearance since breaking his leg in February to extend the hosts' lead.

George Lowe added a third to give Conor O'Shea a chance of silverware in what could be his final game as Quins boss.

The 45-year-old Irishman, who has been director of rugby since 2010, is leaving to become head coach of Italy in the summer.

With Harlequins' hopes of reaching the Premiership play-offs all but over already, O'Shea's swansong now looks set to come in the final of the competition he won with the club in 2011.

However, their semi-final victory was marred by an off-the-ball incident involving England prop Joe Marler, who appeared to kick Arnaud Heguy in the head while the Grenoble hooker was on the floor.

Joe Marler
Harlequins prop Marler has been capped 42 times by England

Marler, playing for the first time since serving a two-match ban for calling Wales forward Samson Lee a "Gypsy boy" during the Six Nations, was not sanctioned by referee John Lacey at the time but could yet be cited after it was picked up by television cameras.

In unseasonably cold and damp conditions at The Stoop, Quins looked in command from the moment Roberts crossed from close range inside the opening 11 minutes.

The highlight of the semi-final was fly-half Evans' second-half try, two minutes after his introduction from the bench to a superb ovation.

Victory leaves Harlequins, who have now won eight of their nine home matches against French opposition in the Challenge Cup, 80 minutes away from lifting the trophy for a record fourth time.

Harlequins: Brown; Yarde, Lowe, Roberts, Visser; Botica, Care (capt); Marler, Gray, Jones, Horwill, Twomey, Robshaw, Wallace, Easter.

Replacements: Ward, Lambert, Sinckler, Matthews, Clifford, Dickson, Evans, Chisholm.

Grenoble: Aplon; Mignot, Farrell, Hunt, Dupont; Wisniewski, McLeod; Taumalolo, Heguy, Edwards, Hand (capt), Percival, Diaby, Alexandre, Setephano.

Replacements: Jammes, Barcella, Desmaison, Marie, Vanderglas, Hart, Gengenbacher, Estebanez.

Referee: John Lacey (Ire).

Top Stories