Harlequins edge out Worcester 16-18 to reach Challenge Cup semi-final

Bryce Heem's try went in vain for Worcester Warriors
Bryce Heem's try went in vain for Worcester Warriors

Worcester Warriors 16-18 Harlequins, Sixways

Demetri Catrakilis kicked the decisive 75th-minute penalty goal as Harlequins edged out Worcester Warriors 16-18 at Sixways to reach the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup.

The Quins now will line-up against Clermont Auvergne in the semi-final clash at Stade Marcel-Michelin in the third week of April.

Harlequins suffered a setback early in the game when George Merrick left the field in the sixth minute before a combination of Mike Brown and Marcus Smith sent Cadan Murley over the line in the 17th minute.

A perfect lofted kick from Duncan Weir was grabbed by Bryce Heem as he dotted down in the 24th minute with the scores levelled 5-5 before Marcus Smith provided the visitors with a slender advantage with a penalty kick just before the break.

Worcester Warriors went on to seize the lead immediately at the start of the second half when Chris Pennell's kick found Tom Howe for their second try in the game that came in the 47th minute to make it 10-8. Weir missed the conversion but kicked a 61st minute penalty kick to stretch their lead to five points.

Nevertheless, the Quins were still in the game with Ben Tapuai crossing over in the 68th minute and a conversion from Catrakilis made it 13-15. As the game entered the final five minutes, Weir once again brought the Warriors into the lead with another penalty kick but it lasted just a minute as Catrakilis responded back with a three-pointer of his own to complete a 16-18 win for Paul Gustard's men.