Harlequins 13 Cardiff Blues 13
Saturday 17h November 3.30pm kick off
Harlequins got on the scoreboard first when the Blues were caught on wrong side of the ruck and Malone converted. Minutes later a Blues move in midfield broke down and only a last gasp tackle by Jason Spice and recovery by Martyn Williams prevented a Quins try. They were however awarded a penalty that Malone this time hit wide.
Harlequins were dominating the opening minutes and a driving lineout in the Blues twenty two put them under pressure However great work by Martyn Williams scavenging the ball allowed Spice to clear.
The was a large crowd, with plenty of vocal Blues support at the Stoop, but they had to wait twenty seven minutes into the game before the Blues got into the Harlequins twenty two. When they did they were awarded a penalty that Blair converted to level the score.
It was a very tight game but Harlequins were winning the battle for possession and territory. Just on half time a chip through by Gomarsall put Blues in danger. Tom James did well to tackle Strettle and force the ball to touch. However, from the line out Nick Easter gathered and powered over. Malone just got the conversion.
Half Time Harlequins 10 Cardiff Blues 3
An up and under by Dai Flanagan and a good chase by Gareth Thomas looked promising. Tom James unfortunately just failed to gather a pas with nobody in front of him and the try line.
It was a better start for the Blues and they were awarded a penalty for Harlequins offside. Blair again was accurate with his kick.
Harlequins broke the first line of defence when Jason Spice slipped but excellent defence by Martyn Williams and a kick through and great chase by Jamie Robinson put the Quins back in their own twenty two and under pressure.
The Blues had a driving line out in Harlequins twenty two. Harlequins failed to clear and Tom James showed great strength to go past two tacklers and pass back inside to Jason Spice to run over for the try. Blair converted to bring the score to Harlequins 10 Cardiff Blues 13. However, Malone converted a penalty soon after to level the score with only 10 minutes to go.
It was a tense finish and Harlequins had a chance to steal it but the game finished a draw with Cardiff Blues happier of both teams.
15. Ben Blair 14. Tom James 13. Jamie Robinson 12. Tom Shanklin 11. Gareth Thomas 10. Dai Flannigan 9. Jason Spice 8. Xavier Rush 7. Martyn Williams 6. Mamma Molitika 5. Paul Tito (72off) 4. Deiniol Jones 3. Taufa'ao Filise 2. T. Rhys Thomas (66off) 1. Gethin Jenkins Replacements 16. John Yapp 17. Gareth Williams (66on) 18. Robert Sidoli (72on) 19. Scott Morgan 20. Robin Sowden- Taylor 21. Tal Selley 22. Rhys Williams
15. Mike Brown 14. Simon Keogh 13. David Strettle 12. De Wet Barry 11. Ugo Monye 10. Chris Malone 9. Andy Gomarsall 1. Ceri Jones 2. Tani Fuga 3. Mike Ross 4. Ollie Kohn 5. Jim Evans 6. Chris Robshaw 7. Paul Volley 8. Nick Easter Replacements 16. Chris Brooker 17. Ricky Nebbett 18. James Percival 19. Chris Hala'ufia 20. Steven So'oialo 21. Adrian Jarvis 22. Tosh Masson
CARDIFF BLUES HARLEQUINS
TRIES Spice x 1 N Easter x 1
PENALTIES Blair x 2 C Malone x 2
CONVERSIONS Blair x 1 C Malone x 1