Premiership: Harlequins 5-35 London Irish

Piet van Zyl
Piet van Zyl has scored four tries in his last four London Irish appearances
Aviva Premiership
Harlequins: (0) 5
Try: Clifford
London Irish: (22) 35
Tries: Van Zyl 2, Northcote-Green, Fowlie Cons: Bell 3 Pens: Bell 3

London Irish kept their slim hopes of staying in the Premiership alive with an impressive win at Harlequins.

Piet van Zyl's double rocked an error-strewn Quins side before Max Northcote-Green added a third to go with seven points from Tommy Bell's boot.

Another Bell penalty increased the lead before Quins' Jack Clifford touched down after a video review.

After Danny Care was sin-binned, Tom Fowlie scored a bonus-point try before Bell kicked his third penalty.

The win was only their third in the league this season by the Exiles, having beaten Quins on the opening day of the season and second-from-bottom Worcester in February.

But the Warriors' 27-13 win over Newcastle meant Irish only cut the gap between themselves and safety by one point - they are now nine points adrift of Worcester with a possible 15 points remaining.

The visitors, who won for the first time since parting company with director of rugby Nick Kennedy last month, could have scored more as Alex Lewington had a try disallowed after just three minutes when a video replay showed a forward pass.

The bottom-of-the-table side were impressive throughout as they defended well when they needed to, but Quins regularly made basic errors, and Chris Robshaw dropped the ball when he was clean through in the final minutes to sum up their afternoon.

Harlequins director of rugby John Kingston:

"We never got going. Irish played well, but we were lethargic from the start and never got anything going.

"It got worse and discipline was an issue for us in the second half.

"We had a difficult time post-Christmas and in February, but we won with our backs against the wall against Bath last month.

"But we've slipped into a below par performance again today and I'm the first to say it's not acceptable."

London Irish technical consultant Declan Kidney told BBC Radio Berkshire:

"Today was the day where the passes stuck. The players have been working hard all season and today, things fell for us.

"I'm delighted for them because when you put in a lot of hard work and don't win, doubts can creep in. But hopefully we've banished a few of those today and we can move on.

"We can only work with what's within our control and congratulations to Worcester.

"They knew they had to pull out a result. All we can do is take each game as it comes and they don't come much bigger than Exeter at home next weekend.

"As long as it's mathematically there (survival), we'll keep fighting."

Harlequins: Brown; Walker, Marchant, Saili, Visser; Smith, Care; Marler, Ward (capt), Sinckler, Matthews, South, Robshaw, Clifford, Luamanu.

Replacements: Gray, Lambert, Collier, Merrick, White, Lewis, Lang, Alofa.

London Irish: Bell; Cokanasiga, Fowlie, Brophy Clews, Lewington; Marshall, Van Zyl; Franks, Paice, Hoskins, Van der Merwe (capt), McNally, Schatz, Northcote-Green, Treviranus.

Replacements: Porecki, Reid, Du Plessis, De Chaves, Basham, Steele, Tonks, Tikoirotuma.

Referee: Ian Tempest.

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