Match Centre: Harlequins 39-29 Sharks

Danny Care scored a try on his 350th appearance
Danny Care scored a try on his 350th appearance

Harlequins 39-29 Sharks, Twickenham Stoop

Harlequins came up with a five-try performance as they defeated Sharks 39-29 at Twickenham Stoop to secure a berth in the round-of-16 in the Heineken Champions Cup.

The Sharks got off to a flying start as wing Thaakir Abrahams breached the defence of Harlequins to send outside centre Lukhanyo Am over the line but Curwin Bosch missed out on the conversion.

The momentum however shifted towards the Quins as Danny Care marked his 350th appearance nipped round the corner to touchdown and three minutes later Alex Dombrandt also went over after Nick David cut through the hosts' defence. Marcus Smith kicked both the conversions to make it 14-5.

Bosch with his first successful kick of the game in the 13th minute reduced the arrears to six points which remained intact as Cadan Murley and Jaden Hendrikse exchanged tries.

Another successful kicking from Smith extended Harlequins' lead to 24-15 before Sharks went on to score their third try as Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth saw the forward poach a ball from the back of a Quins ruck to crossover. Bosch's conversion meant the scores were 24-22 at the end of the opening half.

Harlequins made a strong start to the second half as Stephan Lewies powered his way over and Nick David followed the suit in the 52nd minute to make it 36-22. With Smith kicking another penalty, the scoreline became 39-22 which proved enough for the hosts despite a late try from Aphelele Fassi.

Team line up:

Harlequins: David, Murley, Marchant, Esterhuizen, Bassett, Smith, Care; Marler, Walker, Louw, Lewies, Herbst, Lamb, Evans, Dombrandt (c).

Reserves: Head, Baxter, Kerrod, Lawday, Wallace, Steele, Allan, Beard.

Sharks: Fassi, Potgieter, Am, Tapuai, Abrahams, Bosch, Hendrikse; Nche, Van Vuuren, Du Toit, Etzebeth, Grobler, Kolisi (c), Tshituka, Buthelezi.

Reserves: Jooste, Mchunu, Sadie, Andrews, Notshe, Williams, Cronje, Venter.


European Rugby Champions Cup Points Table