Harlequins move to fifth with bonus point win over Sale Sharks

Harlequins flanker Jack Clifford suffered a shoulder injury against Sale
Harlequins flanker Jack Clifford suffered a shoulder injury against Sale

Harlequins 42-26 Sale Sharks, Twickenham Stoop

Tim Visser scored a double as Harlequins secured their third win in the ongoing season of the Aviva Premiership with a 42-26 triumph over Sale Sharks at Twickenham Stoop on Friday.

Harlequins captain James Horwill could not return to action for the encounter as he failed in his concussion protocol and to make things worse for them Jack Clifford was forced off the field in the 35th minute with a suspected dislocated shoulder.

The win has also helped the Quins bounce back from the back to back defeats that they suffered against Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers as they climb to the fifth position in the table while Sale Sharks are positioned eighth.

After the first 10 minutes went without a point, winger Tim Visser capitalised on a kick from scrum-half Danny Care to get the home side off the mark with a touchdown. Between minutes 20 and 23, Joe Marler and Joe Marchant also crossed over for John Kingston's men and with a triple conversion from talented Marcus Smith, Harlequins had a lead of 21-0.

Even though Mike Hayley crossed over in the 31st minute and Aj MacGinty slotted the conversion, Smith kicked back to back penalties to ensure a 27-7 lead for Harlequins at half-time.

Visser with his second try after restart extended the lead to 25 points much to the delight of the home crowd but Steve Diamond's men made a valiant comeback with tries from replacement Halani 'Aulika (54'), Sam James (64') and Ross Harrison (73'). As the final five minutes kicked-off, Sale Sharks were trailing by just nine points.

However, England international Marland Yarde with his 75th-minute touchdown to complete a 16 point victory for Harlequins. Both the teams were reduced to 14-men in the 78th minute with Sale Sharks losing Byron McGuigan to sin-bin while Harlequins had Tim Swiel yellow carded but it did not impact the result.

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Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the world...it can only be the Aviva Premiership.

12 teams compete in the league over a season, playing every team both home and away, before four move into the playoffs and one is relegated.

The division is becoming more and more exciting as each year passes by so who will be lifting silverware at Twickenham in May?

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Aviva Premiership Rugby 2017/18 - Points Table


2017-18 Top Points-Scorers


Aviva Premiership Rugby 2017/18 - Leading try-scorers