Source: Harlequins

A Hammer blow for Quins – Was John Mitchell watching?

  • +1

Allianz Premier 15s – Round 16

Two extraordinary games have helped decide the make-up of the semi-finals.  Bristol Bears took the honours in the Saturday matches by winning the second half of a thriller against Chiefs 12-0.

In the Sunday match Gloucester-Hartpury played Quins off the park, as if England were playing Pitcairn Island. To ensure a semi-final place, Quins now need to win the two remaining games with bonus points, while Bears earn none (see table below).  That won’t happen.  They have always featured before.

Who was expecting a 67-14 scoreline, with Abby Dow and Ellie Kildunne waiting till the dying embers of the game to show their worth? G-H are playing an inspired type of rugby.  Their set-pieces are sure, their passing rarely fails, they tend to win every contact, their combinations allow them to off-load with security.

They exploited Quins weaknesses, especially in ball retention, at the line-out and the midfield.  They had the bonus point secured within 25 minutes.  It took Quins nearly an hour to rev their engine.  Then they remembered they had Dow on the field.  Sophie Bridger finished off a second nice try.  But by then Emma Sing had outplayed her rival, England full-back Ellie Kildunne.  She fielded a long kick ahead, then as Kildunne chased she side-stepped her twice to counter with profit.

Quins can cite their absentees (Cokayne, Cornborough, Bonar, Konkel-Roberts, etc) but we can only imagine Connie Powell’s feelings as she came off the home bench to face the club she joins next season.

Result: GH 67 Quins 14

Player of the Match: Lleucu George


G.H: Sing, Rugman, Lund, Heard, Venner, George, Hunt, Muir, Jones K, Delgado, Monaghan, Aldcroft, Matthews, LewisB, Beckett

Bench: Jones N Buggy, Tuipolotu, Lillicrap, Powell, Brock, Blackburn, Bridget

Quins: Kildunne, Torley, Tuima, McKenzie, Dow, Scott, Packer L, Edwards, Dobson, Cleall B, Leany, Mew, Brooks, Chancellor, Robinson E

Bench: Catlin, Sims, Latsha, Kronish, Burnfield, Aucken, Blacklock, Wilcock

Bristol Bears v Exeter Chiefs

The other top game of the weekend was what we expected, a titanic struggle between two fine teams.  Bears have done themselves a heap of good by taking a 3-point lead, then maintaining it through a tension-laden last quarter.  Chiefs have suffered the experience of losing two games on the trot.

It would be fascinating to know how the two coaches of the losing sides,  Amy Turner and Susie Appleby, led the post-match review. Or, for that matter, how anybody called John Mitchell reacted.

Wasps v Sale Sharks

At the other end of the table we see the league’s disparities for all their worth.  Lightning (in eighth place) put 74 points on DMP Sharks (ninth).  No doubt Lightning fans will argue: if we’d had all our players available all season, then .. But not one club has been in that favourted position.  A return to Twyford Avenue – only one more is available in Round 18 – was a deeply saddening experience.  If there were more than 50 people watching they must have been hiding away in the bar.  Wasps had one period of dominance in the first half: they built a position close to Sharks line and persevered till Fiona Cooper forced her way over.

For the rest it was a case of passes given or taken inaccurately.  Sharks needing no second invitation to put their back-three away for multiple tries.

Wasps have organised a final swarm on June 3 (match v Bristol Bears) to celebrate 38 years of outstanding service to women’s rugby.  That is where the faulty ambition of a rich man can get you.


Saturday 20 May

Bristol 24 Exeter 21

DMP 0 Loughborough 74

UWW 15 Saracens 38

Wasps 7 Sale 88

Sunday 21 May

G-H 67 Quins 14

Table                       P​        W​      L​      Pts

Gloucester-H       16       15     ​ 1         73
Exeter​​​                    16       13      3         67
Saracens​​               16        13     3         65
Bristol​​​                   16        11      5         56
Harlequins  ​​         16          9       7         47  ​
UWW      ​​               16         6     10        35
Sale                   ​​      16        6     10        30
Lightning         ​​​      16        5     11         29
DMPS ​​                    16        ​2     14        10
Wasps                    16         0     16         1

A New Sport

This is the sport called ‘We’ve got more Red Rose internationals on our bench than you have’.

Current Leaders: Saracens 4, Glos-Pury 2, Quins 1

It’s a derivative of the more established sport called ‘We’ve got more Red Roses in our starting line-up than you’.

Current leaders: Glos-Pury 10, Saracens 8, L’boro 4, Bristol 4