England duo inspire Harlequins to dominant win over 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.
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.
When you have a game at 5 and a fashion shoot at 8 ?
Joe Marler arrived in style at Twickenham Stoop a.k.a Venice Beach ahead of their Round 16 clash ???
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) April 17, 2021
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.
FT | Harlequins 50-26 Worcester Warriors pic.twitter.com/sHZ7O6Gb0N
— Worcester Warriors (@WorcsWarriors) April 17, 2021
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.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now