Harlequins 26-20 Leicester: Andre Esterhuizen’s dramatic late attempt towards the leaders retains Tabai Matson’s entertaining defending champions within the Premiership title race and in with an opportunity of dwelling play-off

  • Harlequins snatched a late victory towards Premiership leaders Leicester Tigers 
  • South African Andre Esterhuizen crossed the whitewash with 5 minutes left
  • The outcome retains the defending champions in with a shout of a house play-off
  • Will Collier and Cadan Murley and the boot of Marcus Smith helped hosts to win

There’s by no means a uninteresting second with the nice entertainers of Harlequins. Every week after exiting the Champions Cup in a colossal European knock-out conflict with Montpellier, Tabai Matson’s facet delivered one other thrilling spectacle.

This was Gallagher Premiership rugby at its greatest. The second half was tighter and not so good as the primary however the 80 minutes on the entire was a see-saw feast for a packed out Twickenham Stoop.

Ultimately, a sold-out Harlequins crowd went dwelling joyful. Andre Esterhuizen’s attempt with 5 minutes to go received it and retains the defending champions in with a shout of a house play-off. 

Harlequins snatched a dramatic 26-20 victory against Premiership leaders Leicester Tigers

Harlequins snatched a dramatic 26-20 victory towards Premiership leaders Leicester Tigers

South African centre Andre Esterhuizen scored a try with five minutes left to seal the match

South African centre Andre Esterhuizen scored a attempt with 5 minutes left to seal the match

Harlequins head coach Matson admitted he thought that might be unlikely however the reality is his group is now stage on factors with second- positioned Saracens, albeit having performed a sport extra.

‘To play properly and beat the group who’ve been setting the usual all yr means it has been a implausible day,’ Matson mentioned.

‘The likes of Saracens have gotten to fall over they usually very hardly ever fall over. The great factor for us is we’re nonetheless within the prime 4 — that has been our objective all yr. We have three large video games to go and we’re nonetheless not dwelling and hosed to be within the prime 4.

‘There’s numerous work nonetheless to do however it will make us actually buoyant. We most likely could not have picked a greater facet to bounce again towards.’

Harlequins had to do that the laborious approach. They did lead 15-12 on the break due to tries from Will Collier and Cadan Murley and the boot of Marcus Smith. The primary half noticed each groups go toe-to-toe in thrilling style.

Tigers boss Steve Borthwick was left ruing rotating his XV against Tabai Matson's entertainer

Tigers boss Steve Borthwick was left ruing rotating his XV towards Tabai Matson’s entertainer

Nemani Nadolo powered over to answer Collier and Tigers captain Hanro Liebenberg made it two. Smith did have a attempt dominated out for blocking on his reverse quantity George Ford.

Leicester head coach Steve Borthwick left captain Ellis Genge on the bench and gave England full-back Freddie Steward, Tommy Reffell and Julian Montoya the time off.

Whereas the guests have been within the contest, they have been second greatest up entrance and Borthwick responded by introducing Genge, Dan Cole and Jasper Wiese early within the second half. 

It made a right away distinction. Hastily, Leicester had a platform, particularly on the scrum, they usually used it to good impact as Wiese crashed over.

did lead 15-12 at the break thanks to tries from Will Collier (above) and Cadan Murley

did lead 15-12 on the break due to tries from Will Collier (above) and Cadan Murley

Smith and Freddie Burns then swapped penalties after Ford missed with a long-range effort to set-up a grandstand end. Leicester appeared in management however they’d not banked on Esterhuizen.

The large South African have to be thought of one of many Premiership’s greatest signings of the previous couple of years and he crashed over within the nook. It despatched The Stoop wild with delight.

Smith — whose kicking appeared suspect at instances after his essential miss towards Montpellier — failed with the conversion however did nail a penalty with the final kick of the sport.

Leicester's Nemani Nadolo however powered over to respond to Collier's try for hosts

Leicester’s Nemani Nadolo nevertheless powered over to answer Collier’s attempt for hosts

Finally, we weren’t ok,’ mentioned Borthwick, whose facet are nonetheless prime and took dwelling a dropping bonus level. 

‘We’ll be taught so much from the sport. I have a look at every participant on a person foundation and resolve what the best 23 is for the sport on the weekend. We got here up brief. I make the selections on what I believe is true.’

Matson and Harlequins will hope Exeter can shock Saracens at StoneX Stadium on Sunday however there’s a good likelihood this fixture might be repeated within the play-offs.

Leicester might need been the usual bearers this season however you can’t rule out Quins making it back-to-back titles. No matter occurs, it’s positive to be enjoyable.  

Marcus Smith failed with the conversion but did nail a penalty with the last kick of the game

Marcus Smith failed with the conversion however did nail a penalty with the final kick of the sport

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Londonlad
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