Quins feast on frail Falcons
Sam Smith scored two tries to help Harlequins secure a 35-9 bonus-point victory over Newcastle Falcons on Sunday.
Sam Smith proved he can fill the boots of the absent Ugo Monye as the wing scored two tries to help Harlequins secure a 35-9 bonus-point victory over Newcastle Falcons on Sunday.
An early Tom Williams score, a double from Smith and a trademark Danny Care try saw Conor O'Shea's men extend their winning streak in the Premiership to four games.
But for Newcastle it was another game during which they were unable to find the try-line, meaning they haven't crossed the whitewash in the Premiership in just over four hours of rugby.
Williams gave Quins the lead on nine minutes when he found himself on the shoulder of Dave Ward and with just one Newcastle defender in front of them, the wing was put in to score.
Nick Evans drew the Newcastle defence towards him before putting Ward through a gap and, with Williams on his shoulder, the hooker provided the pass for an easy try under the posts. Evans added the extras.
The Falcons were given an opportunity to get on the scoreboard on 18 minutes when Matt Hopper was caught unnecessarily offside and Phil Godman was successful with the resulting penalty.
However, when Newcastle were guilty of the same offence with Harlequins probing in their 22 from their very next attack, Evans immediately restored his side's seven-point lead.
Noah Cato came within a fingertip of intercepting a lofted pass and running in to score for the Falcons but the wing couldn't hold on to the ball and knocked on.
And from the resulting scrum, which Harlequins bossed, the visitors were awarded another penalty when Carlo del Fava blocked the run of Smith and Evans was again on target (13-3).
His opposite number Godman, however, couldn't respond when Joe Trayfoot was guilty of pulling legs away in a maul on the half-hour mark.
But just a minute later, he nailed a straight kick just inside the Harlequins half as Newcastle went in at the break trailing 6-13.
Harlequins had the ideal start to the second half when they collected their own kick-off and went on to score through Smith in the corner.
After getting the ball back, a smart offload from Tom Casson found Evans who made a break and offloaded to Ward and after quick ball, it was Smith who was able to dive over.
A powerful driving maul gave Newcastle their best opportunity of finding the Harlequins try-line on 44 minutes but, although they knocked on out wide, Godman was successful with a penalty.
But Quins were able to keep the Falcons at arm's length as Evans slotted another penalty two minutes later.
Smith almost had his second try of the game on 54 minutes but he grounded the ball short of the line - Care, however, went over for Quins' third moments later.
The scrumhalf threw one of his trademark dummies just a few metres from the try-line and dived over under the posts - Evans converting for 28-9.
Quins then secured their bonus point as Smith did grab his second try - Casson doing brilliantly to turn the ball over before the wing went through a gap to run 60 metres and score.
Rob Vickers was sent to the sin bin for an infringement at the line-out and Harlequins were able to see out the remaining minutes for their first win at Kingston Park in seven years.
Pens: Godman 3
Tries: Williams, Smith 2, Care
Cons: Evans 3
Pens: Evans 3
Yellow card: Rob Vickers (Newcastle Falcons, 77)
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Noah Cato, 13 Danny Barnes, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Ryan Shortland, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Mike Blair, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Will Welch (captain), 6 Richard Mayhew, 5 Fraser McKenzie, 4 Carlo del Fava, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Rob Vickers.
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Grant Shiells, 18 Scott Wilson, 19 Sean Tomes, 20 Chris York, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 James Fitzpatrick.
Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Tom Casson, 11 Sam Smith, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Tom Guest, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Joe Trayfoot, 5 George Robson, 4 Nick Easter (captain), 3 Will Collier, 2 Dave Ward, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Harry Allen, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Paul Doran-Jones, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 James Chisholm, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Charlie Walker.
Referee: Andrew Small
Assistant referees: Roy Maybank, Ashley Rowden
TMO: Graham Hughes