Pre-Season: Quins v Jersey Reds
By Bedfordshire Boy
August 23 2017
After two pre-season games away from home, this was the first match at The Stoop since April and the last warm up game before the season kicks off against London Irish at The Big Stoop on 2nd September. Once again the weather was fine but not ideal due to a strong cold wind blowing down the pitch and of course with the M25 traffic as bad as ever meant we got to our seat just as the Quins side came onto the pitch.
I would hazard a guess that the crowd was in the region of 6 to 7 thousand who immediately had plenty to cheer when Francis Saili broke through the Jersey defence, slipped the ball to Mike Brown whose neat grubber kick to the corner was gathered by Charlie Walker to score. Marcus Smith made the conversion look easy to bring the score to Quins 7 Jersey 0 inside the first minute. If we all thought that this was the prelude to a cricket score we were pretty wide of the mark as it was the twentieth minute before Quins added to the scoreboard with Mark Lambert touching down following good play by Buchanan, Robshaw and Care. Once again Marcus Smith added the extra points from the tee, quite a different kicking performance to last week.
It was almost the end of the first half before the next score when Marland Yarde ran in to score under the posts, and with Marcus Smith kicking his third conversion, the score moved on to Quins 21, Jersey 0. Plenty of good rugby from both sides during the first half with plenty of endeavour from Jersey with no reward at all, not really clear how much was due to the Quins defence and how much due to their own failings. In general a good performance from Quins, Marcus Smith built on his performance against London Irish showing off his ball handling skills, his basic speed and footwork and Francis Saili showed his strength in midfield. All of this with Jack Clifford spending 10 minutes in the sin bin midway through the half.
Easy touchdown for Yardes first try
As with first half, Quins scored an early try when a hanging kick from defence by Smith was gathered by Saili who made 30 metres before passing to Jack Clifford who in turn got the ball to Yarde to run in for his second try. With the Smith conversion the Quins total moved on to 28 points after 43 minutes of play. The Jersey side continued to press whenever they had the ball but an intercept by Charlie Walker lead to Quins fifth try of the afternoon. Walker slipped the ball to Marcus Smith who ran in to score from the Jersey ten metre line, but with a failed conversion the Quins total moved on to 33 points eight minutes into the second half.
This was the signal for the first changes for Quins when Luamanu and Gray replaced Clifford and Buchanan with more changes 4 minutes later; leaving the field Brown, Smith Robshaw and Saili replaced by Archie White, Jamie Roberts, Tim Visser and James Lang with Charlie Walker moving to fullback. Quins continued to press and from a tap penaltythe ball went from Mat Luamanu to Danny Care to Jamie Roberts who beat one defender to cross the Jersey line from about 10 metres out. This time James Lang added the conversion points to bring the score to Quins 40 Jersey 0. Apologies for not keeping a note of the Jersey team replacements but to be honest had a job enough to keep track of those from Quins.
Jersey were beginning to come more and more into the game and their efforts were rewarded when and excellent 30 metre run by Pincus ended when he slipped the ball to Cope a few metres out from the Quins line to score under the posts. The conversion brought the score to Quins 40, Jersey 7 on 57 minutes. The Quins replacements were now thick and fast with Merrick and Mulchrome replacing Horwell on 60 minutes, Boyce and Swainston replacing Lanbert and Collier on 63 minutes and South replacing Glynn after 66 minutes. Quins were looking somewhat disorganised now and Jersey came close to scoring but a try saving tackle by Joe Marchant 5 metres short of the line saved the day. It was short lived however and from a Jersey line out close to the Quins line, the ball was overthrown but gathered by Ma`afu who crossed the line for Jerseys second try. With Cope scoring his second conversion of the afternoon, the score moved on to Quins 40, Jersey 14 after 70 minutes of play as Elia Elia and Stanley replaced Gray and Marchant.
With a couple of minutes left on the clock and with Quins pressing the Jersey line, a long pass to the left wing was intercepted by Pincus who was faced with a 75 metre sprint to the Quins line. From the other side of the field Walker set off in pursuit and tackled Pincus 2 metres out but the Jersey man just managed to ground the ball for his teams third try of the afternoon. Van Bredus converted from wide out to bring the Jersey total to 21 points with a minute left to play. Quins had one more chance to attack and from the restart Quins won the ball which was eventually passed to Tim Visser on the left wing to run in for the tenth try of the afternoon which was converted by Lang to bring the final score to Quins 47, Jersey 21.
Jersey touch down for their third try
Another entertaining game to bring the three pre-season matches to a close with Quins winning all three. Jersey played a full part in the proceedings and can be pleased with their performance but with so many changes taking place during the second half I am not too sure what the Quins coaching staff gained after the first half. There is little doubt that on paper, you would expect Quins to be competitive this year, fingers crossed that the squad live up to our expectations. COYQ!!
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