Quins RL picked up their first win in five Super League outings yesterday when they hung on to narrowly defeat Hull FC at the Stoop.
For the first hour the Quins were by far the more dominant side, with the front row combinations of Heckenberg, Mills, Temata and McCarthy-Scarsbrook all impressive punching holes down the middle of the park. In the final twenty minutes Hull hit a purple patch of form with a little bit of assistance from a few dubious refereeing decisions and mounted a recovery which almost grabbed them a share of the points.
It was Hull who scored first, exploiting Quins soft left hand defence through some good running from the impressive Sid Domic. However the lead was short lived with tries from Jon Wells and Daniel Heckenberg and a conversion from Henry Paul bringing the scores to 10 – 4. Hull’s second try came from Kirk Yeaman despite the officials missing an obvious forward pass from Danny Washbrook, reducing the Quins advantage to two points.
The final ten minutes of the half saw Quins open up the gap with a penalty from Paul, followed by a try from Andy Smith also converted by Paul, taking the sides in 18 – 8 at the break.
After the half-time break it was Quins who were to pick-up the next points, with Julien Rinaldi’s darting run eluding the Hull defence, with Paul adding the conversion. Richard Horne then produced arguably the pick of the tries with his own elusive run, weaving through some desperate Quins defence to put Hull back within two converted scores at 24 – 12. Mark McLinden alternating between fullback and the halves was next up to score, with Paul’s conversion taking the scores out to 30 – 12, lulling Quins fans into the belief that the points were in the bag.
However, the final quarter of the match was to stage a brilliant comeback from the men in black and white, Horne went over for his second try, followed by a try by Super League debutant Craig Hall, who also converted both efforts. Quins can feel aggrieved by some soft refereeing including a penalty to Hull for a one on one ball steal despite the player not being tackled, which allowed the visitors some good field position.
With five minutes left former Kangaroo winger Matt Sing went over to close the scores to 30 - 28, but Hall was unable to add the conversion to level the match, leaving the Quins fans to face a nervous final few minutes where it looked like a predictable second half slump would see the points snatched away.
Quins coach Brian McDermott will be grateful that his side picked up their first points in five league matches, and encouraged by the way in which his forward pack dominated up front for the first hour, but will equally be concerned about their inability to maintain the intensity for a full match.
Harlequins RL: (18) 30
Tries: Wells, Heckenberg, Smith, Rinaldi, McLinden
Goals: Paul 5
Hull FC: (8) 28
Tries: Domic, Yeaman, R Horne 2, Hall, Sing
Goals: Hall 2