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Page last updated at 15:34 GMT, Saturday, 3 September 2011 16:34 UK

London Irish 24-29 Harlequins

London Irish (6) 24
Tries: Ojo 2 Cons: Homer Pens: Homer 4
Harlequins (13) 29
Tries: Johnston, Monye Cons: Evans 2 Pens: Evans 5

London Irish v Harlequins
London Irish have not beaten Harlequins at Twickenham since 2006

Harlequins fly-half Nick Evans kicked seven from seven to secure a first win of the new Premiership season.

James Johnston opened the scoring for Quins with the only try of the first half as Tom Homer and Evans added two penalties each for their sides.

Topsy Ojo scored twice for London Irish after the break but a superb finish by Ugo Monye and eight points from Evans's boot put Quins back in charge.

With three minutes left Homer slotted a kick to secure the losing bonus point.

The opening try at Twickenham came on 16 minutes after the first meaningful line break by George Lowe, from an inside ball, eventually saw Johnston barge over close to the posts to make Evans' conversion a certainty.

Joe Marler was sin-binned for repeat offences at the breakdown, Homer's resulting kick pulled the score back to 10-6, but Quins coped well with the disadvantage and Monye appeared on for a certain try - only to lose the ball in the tackle by Paul Hodgson.

Keiran Roche spurned a great chance for Irish, Marler returned but then disaster struck for Harlequins when Tom Guest was carried from the field with a serious arm injury on the stroke of half-time.

The Exiles struck first after the interval when a loose kick saw Dan Bowden put Ojo away and Homer added the extras to square the scores at 13-13.

Quins looked on the brink of scoring a sensational try after Evans's break saw Brown and George Lowe create a three-on-one only for Johnston to take the hit and knock on.

The Challenge Cup winners made it 16-13 through Evans as they upped their tempo and looked to offload.

But Irish hit back with a sublime score from the kick-off when a poor restart from Quins saw Jonathon Joseph and Marland Yarde create breaks before the ball went wide and Alex Gray, fresh on the field, threw the telling inside pass to put Ojo over.

After Homer missed the kick Evans put his side back in front with a penalty, and Monye then made up for his earlier miss with a superb finish in the left corner.

Evans and Homer exchanged penalties before Homer's kick three minutes from time secured a losing bonus point for Irish.


Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea (on Tom Guest):

"He's broken both bones in his lower arm pretty badly so we will have to wait for the surgeon to have a look at it.

"The first opinion is it will need to be plated. He's come back after a long period out and I feel for Guesty. It's a shocking thing to happen."

London Irish head coach Toby Booth:
"We've spoken a lot about the youngsters and their need to aim up and on the whole they aimed up very well.

"We worked incredibly hard and the mistakes we made were brought about through inexperience more than anything else.

"The test for this team in this initial period is how quickly it can grow up."


London Irish: London Irish: Homer, Ojo, Joseph, Bowden, Yarde, Jarvis, Hodgson, Lahiff, Paice, Rautenbach, Kennedy, Garvey, Roche, Thorpe, Hala'ufia.

Replacements: Buckland, Dermody, Halavatau, Sandford, Gray, Thompstone, Shingler, Allinson.

Harlequins: Brown, Chisholm, Lowe, Turner-Hall, Monye, Evans, Dickson, Marier, Gray, Johnston, Kohn, Robson, Robshaw, Skinner, Guest.

Replacements: Brooker, Lambert, Fairbrother, Matthews, York, Bolt, Clegg, S. Smith.

Referee: Greg Garner (RFU)

Att: 55,437

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see also
Irish bring in forward Alexander
24 Aug 11 |  London Irish
We lost fight last year - Booth
18 Aug 11 |  London Irish
Quins can build 'dynasty' - Evans
21 May 11 |  Rugby Union
Esher capture Harlequins quartet
15 Aug 11 |  Rugby Union

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