Martin Landajo seals Harlequins win over Bath and semi-final place

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We now have our semi-finalists – however we so almost didn’t. The document will state Quins took the bonus-point win that takes them past the attain of the chasing pack, however they did their greatest to maintain the door open, Tub registering two bonus factors of their very own and holding the lead towards all odds as much as the hour.

Fact be instructed, Quins may afford to be lax. That pack stopped chasing some time in the past. Now the race, bar that for Europe, or the highest eight, during which Tub are very a lot invested, narrows to 1 for the 2 residence semi-final spots. Bristol are one win away from securing a type of, however Sale and Quins might be lurking for the opposite, ought to Exeter slip up within the closing couple of rounds.

Quins will fairly rightly take pleasure in their six tries right here, Jack Kenningham setting them on their approach within the fifth minute. Many of the 5 that adopted have been breathless and sensible. Danny Care scored his newest, working a wonderful help line as ever, to open up a 12-point lead, the primary of two they ended up surrendering.

That was Quins throughout. There’s a fault line that runs by them. Marcus Smith, excellent as ever with ball in hand, missed six kicks at objective, together with three easy penalties within the second half which may have sealed the win earlier than Martin Landajo’s strive late on.

Tub’s tries have been fabulous too. Josh McNally scored the primary, rounding Care with outrageous athleticism. Then Ben Spencer put Will Muir over for the primary of his two, after a tapped penalty. Rhys Priestland’s penalty, his second of three, edged Tub forward for the primary time on the half-hour.

But when ever a membership have been made for this form of project, it’s Quins. The solar was out, the opposition recreation, and – glory be – sufficient adoring followers have been within the stands to make some correct noise.

Eddie Jones might be on the lookout for recent blood and will do worse than examine the decidedly meaty Luke Northmore, who has a solidity about him, in addition to a aptitude, from which Quins may be taught a lot. After Joe Marchant’s much less photogenic strive, Northmore, having performed a key function in Care’s, scored a fantastic thing about his personal, from Smith’s inside ball.

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All of it meant Quins held a 32-18 lead on the break, however they coughed up 15 factors inside 12 minutes of the resumption and Tub loved one other eight minutes within the lead.

Muir completed his second, a wonderful crew strive sparked by Tom de Glanville’s break, and Josh Bayliss scored Tub’s fourth, one other, even higher.

Bayliss’s was scored with Quins right down to 14, Marchant proven yellow for an earlier offence, when Max Ojomoh had spilled the ball going over the road. Tub missed one other strive when Spencer did the identical and that was Tub’s probability gone.

A line-out on the Stoop. {Photograph}: Steven Paston/PA

A feint and move by Smith put Alex Dombrandt by and he despatched captain Stephan Lewies over to regain his crew’s lead.

Quins had steadied themselves, with their scrum taking up for the final quarter, incomes two of these penalties for Smith to overlook. However his wizardry with ball in hand performed its half in a single closing strive, for Martin Landajo on the dying.

It summed up Quins all spherical. As their beleaguered defence coach, Jerry Flannery – of Munster pedigree – accepted. “I discovered it fairly disturbing,” he mentioned.

“I’ve to just accept that Harlequins play rugby slightly otherwise to what I’m used to. It’s unconventional, and I haven’t been concerned in a crew that performs the way in which Quins do. That’s not how we performed at Munster. The DNA of this membership is to assault. We received’t win the league, although, if we don’t tighten up.”

They’re sensible all proper, however you wouldn’t need to must depend on them. That mentioned, they solely must win twice now to change into champions.

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