Match Report – Harlequins 50 – 26 Worcester

Harlequins took advantage of excellent conditions and willing opponents to engineer a 50-26 victory over Worcester that returned them to fourth place in the Gallagher Premiership.

Quins had the bonus point secured on the half-hour mark as they ran amok at Twickenham Stoop, inspired by their irrepressible half-backs Danny Care and Marcus Smith.

A host of players shone, however, as the Premiership’s bottom-placed team waved in eight tries in a game lacking intensity.

Will Evans crossed two to spearhead the rout and there were also scores for Care, Smith, Andre Esterhuizen, Wilco Louw, Tyrone Green and Luke Northmore.

England assistant coaches John Mitchell and Simon Amor watched from the stands and can only have been impressed by Smith and Dombrandt, Quins’ rising stars who are making compelling cases to be given their Test debuts.

An eventful start produced an early blizzard of tries and was a poor indicator of the one-way traffic to come, the first scored when Care instinctively exploited a blindside that had been deserted by the Warriors’ defence.

Worcester hit back through Billy Searle, but it was his team-mates who orchestrated the try through a series of strong carries and crisp passing, although Quins’ passive tackling also played a role.

Smith took advantage of Ollie Lawrence darting out of the line to create space for Dombrandt and a pass later the supporting Smith crossed under the posts.

But once more Quins paid the price for a lack of urgency in defence as Joe Batley finished another sweeping move that began from inside Worcester’s half.

The clock had just passed the 10-minute mark and while the points briefly dried up, there was no shortage of drama with the rivals taking advantage of the dry weather to mount attack after attack.

Quins’ third try to regain the lead was a classy score, started by Mike Brown’s brave catch with Joe Marchant and Dombrandt also involved until Care sent Esterhuizen over.

South African brute strength was the source of their fourth, with inside centre Esterhuizen bulldozing a path off a line-out before Louw arrived to deliver the killer blow from close range.

It started to look bleak for Worcester as Evans peeled off a line-out drive to touch down virtually unopposed and as Marchant sliced through two feeble tackles early in the second half, there was clearly more misery ahead.

A throw to the back of the line-out brought it about sooner rather than later as the Warriors’ pack folded with embarrassing ease for Evans to claim his second.

Wing Tyrone Green raced over after a period of sustained pressure and with 10 minutes to go Northmore was the recipient of crisp passing from Dombrandt and Marchant.

Worcester had the final say when Richard Palframan and Alex Hearle went over late on, but the result had been decided long ago.

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