Match Centre: Harlequins 26-20 Leicester Tigers

Andre Esterhuizen scored Harlequins' final try
Andre Esterhuizen scored Harlequins' final try
©Steve Haag

Harlequins 26-20 Leicester Tigers, Twickenham Stoop

Andre Esterhuizen scored the decisive try in the closing stage as Harlequins edged out Leicester Tigers with a 26-20 margin in the 23rd round of the Gallagher Premiership at Twickenham Stoop.

This is 14th win for Harlequins in 21 games as they move to the third place in the table with 72 points while Leicester still hold the top place despite the defeat.

Alex Dombrandt gave a head start to the Quins as he made a powerful carry but on halted just before the line, he found Will Collier as the latter touched down for the opening try in the third minute and Marcus Smith kicked the conversion to make it 7-0.

The response from the Tigers came in the 7th minute as Nemani Nadolo crossed over through to score and George Ford's conversion helped them level the scores.

The Quins had a try from Marcus Smith ruled out but the England fly-half found out Cadan Murley minutes later as he went over the line in the 11th minute but his effort was negated as Matias Moroni sent an inside pass for Hanro Liebenberg to crash over.

A penalty kick from Smith in the 34th minute ensured Harlequins went into the break with a slender three-point lead at the end of the opening half.

As both the teams were desperate for breakthroughs in the second half, it was Jasper Wiese, who helped the visitors add to their tally from the opening half with a short diagonal run and eventually dotted down in the 58th minute and Ford once again missed out on the conversion.

A second Smith penalty in the 67th minute put the Quins in front with a 18-17 lead and it remained same heading into the final 10 minutes after Ford's three-pointer went wide. Burns ensured the Tigers got the lead back with a penalty kick in the 72nd minute making it 18-20, Esterhuizen had other plans as he went past a couple of defenders to score in the 75th minute.

Smith missed out on the conversion but made amends with a penalty kick in the 80th minute to help Quins complete a six-point victory.

Team line up:

Harlequins: Jones; Lynagh, Marchant, Esterhuizen, Murley; Smith, Care; Marler, Walker, Collier; Symons, Tizard; Lewies, Wallace, Dombrandt.

Reserves: Gray, Kerrod, Louw, Hammond, Chisholm, Lawday, Gjaltema, David.

Leicester Tigers: Burns; Potter, Moroni, Scott, Nadolo; Ford, Youngs; Van Wyk, Clare, Heyes; Green, Snyman, Liebenberg, Robinson, Jansen.

Reserves: Cowan-Dickie, Genge, Cole, Wells, Wiese, Wigglesworth, Hegarty, Ashton.

Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the can only be the Gallagher Premiership.

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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