Vintage Danny Care performance sees Harlequins down Gloucester
Danny Care produced a man of the match performance as Harlequins sent Gloucester crashing to a third consecutive league defeat with a 21-12 victory at the Stoop.
The veteran scrum-half scored two of his side’s three tries to send the majority of a capacity crowd home happy as Gloucester followed up losses to Sale and Newcastle with another disappointing performance in an error-ridden game.
Harlequins’ win moves them up to third in the Premiership table and the four points gained could ultimately prove crucial in their quest for a play-off spot at the end of the season with Gloucester, one of their main rivals, losing ground by taking nothing from the match.
Dino Lamb was also on the try-scoring sheet for Harlequins with Tommy Allan converting all three.
Quins turned down chances to kick two early penalties in favour of attacking line-outs and were rewarded when Care forced his way over after eight minutes.
Gloucester struggled to get a foothold in the match, the concession of frequent penalties not helping their cause, and it came as no surprise when they fell further behind to a try from Lamb after his second-row partner Irne Herbst had created the opportunity with a quick off-load.
The visitors badly needed a response and they got one from their forte, a driving line-out which ended with Morgan crashing over.
The try was the catalyst for the Cherry and Whites pack to dominate the second quarter and they looked set for a second try when Jake Morris collected a superb cross-field kick from Louis Rees-Zammit but an excellent cover tackle from Quins full-back Nick David thwarted the Gloucester wing.
However, they were not denied for long as, moments later, Socino finished off another unstoppable line-out drive.
Back came Quins with a quick response. Captain Alex Dombrandt played a leading part in a flowing move which culminated with Care spotting a gap to dart over for his second score. Allan was again on target with the conversion to give his side a 21-12 interval lead.
Gloucester controlled the opening period of the second half but they lacked a cutting edge and were forced to introduce scrum-half Stephen Varney and centre Jack Reeves to try and improve their attacking potency.
A featureless third quarter finished scoreless as David brought off another excellent tackle by hauling down Morris, who had intercepted the ball inside his own 22 but lacked the speed to evade the cover defence.
Cadan Murley threatened to get the scoreboard moving for the second half with a thrilling burst but Rees-Zammit showed his mettle to race back and save the day, before the Wales wing was forced to leave the field with an injury to complete a miserable night for Gloucester.
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