GLASGOW emerged with great credit in going down narrowly to a much more experienced Harlequins team in an exciting clash at The Stoop, in which both sides tried their level best to play attacking rugby in terrible conditions for handling the ball.
Things looked ominous for Warriors as a near full-strength Quins took immediate command and went in front in only three minutes, Nick Easter rumbling over from a close-range line-out initiated by a raking penalty to touch. Nick Evans converted and the Quins fans sat back, expecting a rout.
The home side went further ahead in 11 minutes when some slick handling by backs and forwards gave Ugo Moyne the impetus to force his way over, wide out, through three tackles. Evans missed this conversion. Glasgow’s troubles looked to increase when Harlequins’ replacement Charlie Walker surged over for a “try”, but was recalled for crossing.
Then, everything changed. Glasgow suddenly got going and began to pressurise their hosts. Young Mark Bennett surged up the left into the Quins 22; the ball was moved right, the home side was forced to infringe at the breakdown and Scott Wight’s penalty opened the Glasgow account.
Three minutes later, Glasgow narrowed the gap still further. A slack Quins pass was snaffled-up, Richie Vernon made a terrific solo burst into the 22 to put Byron McGuigan in for Glasgow’s try, which Wight converted.
Glasgow held the whip hand up to the interval, but they were unable to turn possession into points and continued to trail. However, they took control of the third quarter, pinning Quins back for long spells and this pressure bore fruit in 56 minutes when Wight’s second penalty goal put the visitors in front.
The stand-off was again on-target in 62 minutes to give Glasgow a four-point cushion, however, Quins upped the pressure thereafter and although Glasgow defended superbly, the dam was finally broken ten minutes from time when a series of thrusts by the home pack having perished on the rock of the Glasgow defence, the ball was spun wide and Matt Hopper arrived at pace for a try, converted by Ben Botica to give the home side victory.