HARLEQUINS captain Chris Robshaw admitted his side rode their luck before returning to the top of the Aviva Premiership table in a dramatic 31-28 win at London Irish yesterday.
Trailing by two points with no time remaining, centre Tom Casson looked to have knocked on over the line but on referral to the television match official the try was given – the final action of a match either side could have won.
Guy Armitage and England scrum-half Danny Care exchanged tries in the first-half, before Tom Williams moved Quins back out in front after the break. But Irish regained the lead through the boot of the in-form Ian Humphreys and it looked like they had done enough until Casson’s late score, leaving Robshaw relieved to have ended a run of two successive Premiership defeats.
“We got a bit of luck there towards the end but credit to the boys, they believed and they kept going,” said Robshaw, who gave England coach Stuart Lancaster a scare by suffering an eye injury.
“Credit where it’s due to Irish as well, they put us under a lot of pressure and to come away with a win when they’ve scored over 40 points in their last three games is massive for us. It’s a big way for us to bounce back. We had a bad loss to Exeter and we also lost to Saracens so we wanted to come here and right a couple of things.”
In Sunday’s other London derby, wing duo Christian Wade and Tom Varndell scored two tries apiece as London Wasps overcame a stubborn London Welsh side 29-19 at Adams Park. Touchdowns from Phil MacKenzie and Franck Montanella kept Welsh in it but it wasn’t enough for Lyn Jones’s men.
On Saturday, Saracens momentarily went top of the league with a 16-6 victory away at Northampton Saints – Alex Goode’s first-half try proving to be the difference, while Owen Farrell added 11 points with the boot. After a slow start Saracens are now in full swing, the victory their fifth on the bounce, leaving defence coach Paul Gustard delighted to have restricted Saints to just two penalties.
“We are ecstatic, particularly denying them a bonus point in our victory,” he said. “We pride ourselves on our defence. It’s an easy way to reflect the unity of the squad, the togetherness. When things get tough we can rely on the fact we’ve got a friend to our left, a friend to our right, to get that turnover when we need it.”
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