We were down at the Stoop on Saturday, enjoying Quins’ 53-5 romp against the Italians, Zebre, in the Heineken Cup and enthused by that result thought we should go along and support the A Team – the reserves – in their “A” League final on Monday against Saracens. See some of the young players on the point of breaking into the first team, or at least the squad. Bound to be some great rugby – less fear, more adventure. Not that you can say Quins lack adventure. Just that most of their opponents do these days.
There was a good atmosphere. Just the one stand open, but it was pretty full. just over 4,000 in attendance. And some famous faces around the place. Loads of the Quins first team were there and we had ex England captain, still playing for Saracens, Steve Borthwick, sitting just behind us.
And there was some great rugby. Quins were superb. Saracens took the first five to ten minutes but then Quins’ pace and forward power started to tell. It was a pretty strong Quins team, with players like Karl Dickson, Rory Clegg, Ben Botica, Rob Buchanan, Charlie Matthews and captain Luke Wallace experienced first team squad players. But there were so many exciting up and coming players too. Forwards like Darryl Marfo (who got two tries), Sam Twomey, Joe Trayfoot and Jack Clifford. And then the backs – speed merchants. Charlie Walker on the wing, and above all, Ollie Lindsay-Hague at full back. Extraordinary pace and trickiness. One run took him from his own 22 to the opposition’s. It really got the crowd going. He scored two tries and was deservedly made Man of the Match. Can’t be long before he is seriously challenging for a place in the first team. The great thing is that the competition for places is now so fierce – the mark of a good team.
At half time it was 17-0, three tries to Quins. Sarries got one back at the start of the second half, then Quins really turned it on. Took it to 37-5, but then all the substitutions disrupted things a bit and Saracens piled on the pressure in the last ten or so minutes. They got one converted try and came close a few more times. Quins’ defence was good though, and it ended 37-12.
We stayed for the award of the trophy. A real feel good evening. Here are a couple of dodgy iPhone photos of the celebrations.
Luke Wallace – not quite parading the trophy. He’d done that already.
Future England player…