Quins RL took a point from their enthralling battle with the Wakefield Wildcats at The Stoop yesterday, with Brian McDermott’s side unlucky not to take both points.
It was Wakefield who got off to a flying start with Paul March touching down after seven minutes despite the officials missing the blatant forward pass that sent him clear of the home defence. Jamie Rooney missed with the conversion attempt, but he was on target five minutes later when Matt Blaymire added the second try, leaving Quins 0 – 10 with less than a quarter of the game gone.
Quins fans couldn’t help but feel it wasn’t going to be their night when Olivier Elima, operating in a two man tackle, reaped the ball from Paul Sykes grasp as the latter crossed the line and the video referee decided he hadn’t played for the ball (had the incident not occurred over the try line the interpretation may have been very different). However, it was Scott Hill, whose influence is steadily growing at the club, who finally got Quins off the mark dummying his way through the Wakefield defence after twenty minutes. On the half hour winger Andy Smith’s powerful run provided the Quins second and Henry Paul’s conversions had turned the score line to 12 – 10.
On the stroke of halftime Skyes was finally rewarded with a try when he linked up with a deceptive kick from skipper Rob Purdham. Paul missed the conversion but at 16 – 10 Brian McDermott would have happy with his men’s capacity to turn around such a sluggish start in the light of their recent fixture list which had seen them shuttle back and forwards between to South of France to take on Pia and Catalans with a tough home game against Hull FC in between.
Five minutes into the second half a try from Waine Pryce, converted by Rooney levelled the scores, but Ian Smith’s refusal to refer the touchdown to the video referee enraged home fans who felt that Pryce’s grounding the ball looked suspiciously like a knock-on.
On the hour mark Quins centre Tyrone Smith batted a back a high kick from scrumhalf Danny Orr into the arms of second-row Lee Hopkins who skipped through the Wakefield defence to restore the lead. Purdham’s conversion made it 22 – 16, but a tired Quins defence was unable to keep out Blaymire’s second try four minutes later, with Rooney again levelling with a conversion.
The final quarter of an hour saw both sides grind out sets of possession with two very tired looking sets of players unable to find the advantage to gain both points.
Harlequins RL: (16) 22
Tries: Hill, Smith, Sykes, Hopkins
Goals: Paul 2, Purdham
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: (10) 22
Tries: March, Blaymire 2, Pryce
Goals: Rooney 3