Another crisp Autumn Saturday saw the T’s look to maintain their 100% start to the league campaign. Quins the visitors to Marble Hill park sitting third in the league prior to the kick off. A disjointed warm-up for T’s with a few pairs of eyes drifting over to watch the 2nd XV on the pitch. The message from the manager was that, we are one squad and the 1st XV had the chance to erase the loss which had happened on the pitch previous.
The game started in bizarre fashion, Tommy claiming a loose ball from the kick off before being tackled inexplicably by his own man Soups. This moment of hilarity distracted T’s for merely a few minutes as they soon looked to click into gear and play the rugby which the whole league is now fully aware of. Good, clean ruck ball, created ample space for the backs and this backline is one which doesn’t need a second invitation to take space. It was a forward who started the rout however, with Deano finding himself on the same touch line twice inside the opening ten minutes, the first time being tackled short and popping to Soups to open the scoring. He made no mistake the second time, a lovely step, wrong footing the full back to score under the posts. Quins got on the scoreboard with a penalty shortly after but this was to be their last score until deep into the second half.
The backs continued to run riot and all the attacks were coming down the same wing. Keegan spotted this and took advantage to cross for his 11th try of the season, Julian Savea stats that. Then T’s very own Chris Ashton wanted to get in on the act, screaming at Kieran for quick ball, the out half duly obliged finding Tommy, a dummy from the hooker and a lovely off-load saw Cokes head for the corner. I knew, rest of the players knew, coaches knew but maybe not the T’s old guard who came to support knew what was going to happen next. Splash!!!
There was still time for two more before the break, Deano grabbing his second, an identical step to his first try, wrong footing the same defender. Zac then showed that the backs can keep up with this pack when it comes to scoring tries rounding off a well worked first phase move. Half time and T’s were six tries up.
The second half began in similar fashion, T’s trying to make a statement to the league that it will have to be a very good outfit to knock them off their perch this season. Joey coming on at full-back to make the back 3 look like a line-up for the 100m final. It was one of the back 3 to score next, Jonno weaving his way in and out of numerous defenders to score under the posts and continue his quest to catch Keegan on 11 tries. Deano’s hunt for his hat-trick continued, narrowly missing an exquisite cross-kick from his very talented back row partner (yes you read that right for those not in attendance). Then the moment came, Keegan and Deano 2 on 1, surely it’s a draw and give and let the number 7 grab the limelight and his hat-trick. Not when you are the leagues top tryscorer however, Keegan cut inside and was stopped on the line to the number 7’s disapproval. Arlind quickest to react to dive over the line.
Quins came back into the game and threatened for a small period. Each threat was thwarted by the ever impressive and man of the match Franco. One tackle in particular stood out, knocking the Quins back-row into some time around Wednesday next week. T’s then scored their ninth and tenth quickly after, Zac reaching for the line for his second, shortly before Cokes rounded off a superb team try which shows the handling drills on a Thursday night are paying off. No swan-dive this time, a massive shame.
Quins finally crossed the line close to the end with a well worked try off first phase. Not one to dwell on for the T’s defence and they didn’t want to end the match on that note. The Morgan brothers put that straight, Kieran doing the Jonny Sexton loop around before drawing the full back and putting his brother under the sticks. 69-10, job done and an impressive show put on for the fans. Roll on next week.
Final Score: Thamesians 69 – 10 Harlequins
Tries: Dean x 2, Zac x 2, Cokes x 2, Arlind, Soups, Jonno, Keegan, Joey
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