HARLEQUINS responded to a rollicking from head coach John Kingston to give themselves a chance of reaching the LV Cup semi-finals with a 16-13 win at London Irish.
Kingston lashed out at his men after last week’s 45-20 Challenge Cup hammering by Cardiff Blues, but was full or praise yesterday as his side held off a second-half rally from their Premiership rivals to move to second in the Pool Three table. Sam Smith raced 80m to grab his second try in as many starts while 11 points from the boot of fly-half Nick Evans ensured the Quins won through.
“We identified from last week’s debris that we had two choices,” Kingston said.
“One was to carry on feeling sorry for ourselves and allow our season to drift by but we identified how long there was left of the season, down to the number of days, and what we can achieve is still a huge amount. We can only deal with what’s going forward and we talked all week about this being the first day of the rest of our season and to that end it’s a good start.”
The Blues, meanwhile, completed a hat-trick of wins over English oppposition with a 45-24 win over Newcastle that sent them top of the table.
Australian Sam Norton-Knight scored two of his side’s six tries, condemning Alex Walker’s hat-trick for Newcastle to mere consolation status.