I have an upfront confession to make on this one – my photos are largely….. not very good! Or very plentiful, I’m not too sure quite what went wrong!
I do love a European rugby game so decided that I’d add Quins v Blues to my weekend schedule once I realised I could see them as well as Saracens. That mean Patisserie Valerie for the 2nd week in a row, in the company of my good friends Henry and Sue! Perfect!
It was a very chilly day, I had so many layers on, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to bend in the middle at the ground; I managed it and stayed warm too! Before the match started I was between 2 men talking about how thrilled they were to have beaten those Saracens! I did waft my Saracens scarf at them, to get a very surprised response in return. Along the lines of – well what are you doing here? I explained that I’m a rugby fan first and enjoy watching Quins, what’s not to love, a team fielding 6 England players and the odd other international! I do try to go to the Stoop as often as I can.
I’m not going to write a novel on this one, but I’ll start with one of those old sayings – This really was a game of 2 halves!
Quins were heading their table, clear of Blues by 9 points; they started the half as they meant to carry on, with Rob Buchanan scoring a try on 5 minutes, converted by the usually reliable Nick Evans. The home team were on fire and it took a mere 7 minutes for one of my Quins favourites Jack Clifford to score his teams 2nd of the afternoon, he shot over the line from a maul, covering 15 metres. With Evans converting the score was 14 nil with 14 minutes on the clock.
Marland Yarde who seems to be settled and thriving at Quins this season scored the home teams’ 3rd try, seeing Quins stretch the lead to 21 once Evans had converted.
I have to say (crowd moan coming here) it was unedifying to hear the man behind me saying – this is going to be a cricket score, several times, including before the game had started. Also interesting to hear him explain to the ladies he was with why a penalty was given, totally incorrectly! You get them at all grounds it seems.
Quins did however seem to have a big score on their minds, Mike Brown looked to have scored a great try, well momentarily, the look on his face told the crowd he’d dropped the ball as he was landing. The referee was standing right in front of him, yet still needed the TMO, the drop was blatant.
Jamie Roberts was looking very strong against several of his international team mates, he really is an awe inspiring runner on the crash ball, he made ground for Quins time and again.
Ross Chisholm scored Quins bonus point try in the 39th minutes picking the ball up from a superb kick through by Nick Evans. Evans World Class credentials continue to shine through at The Stoop. Another successful conversion took the score to 28 nil at half time.
Something of a one sided affair in the first 40, things were to change fairly dramatically in the 2nd half. It literally was like watching 2 different teams as Cardiff Blues joined in with the scoring malarkey!
The Blues must have had a shouty half time, they remembered where the try line was. Cory Allen was the first to score barging over the line 3 minutes into the half, Rhys Patchell added the extras.
Dan Fish scored a 2nd try for the visitors 7 minutes later, the conversion was missed but the gap was closing! That cricket score was looking unlikely. Nick Evans increased that gap with a penalty but it was to be Blues who carried on with the try fest.
Ray Lee-Lo looked to have scored for the Blues, but the TMO was invoked again and the ball was short of the line. Lloyd Williams scored however, with a brilliant solo effort; it’s going to be interesting to see how much time he gets in a Welsh shirt this 6 Nations. Patchell converted the try to take the scores to Quins 31 Blues 19.
The Quins crowd were getting a bit twitchy, the switch around was quite remarkable. A 2nd try for Dan Fish saw a bonus point for Blues and the gap closing to 5 points. Having been 28 nil down Cardiff Blues were looking like they might snatch the win!
The was perhaps the point where Quins realised they could lose this one, they decided to take part. A Ben Botica penalty took the score to Harlequins 34 Cardiff Blues 26. What had been a one sided certainty for the home team turned into a thriller that could have gone both ways, a very enjoyable afternoon all round!
- Cost of Ticket £52.00