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Tim Visser scores hat-trick of tries as Harlequins overcome London Irish

Published 05/12/2015

Tim Visser stole the show for Harlequins against London Irish
Tim Visser stole the show for Harlequins against London Irish

New England head coach Eddie Jones watched from the stands as Harlequins completed a 38-7 Aviva Premiership victory over London Irish, but it was a Scot who took centre stage at Twickenham Stoop.

Jones was present for his first match since replacing Stuart Lancaster and was flanked by Rugby Football Union chief executive Ian Ritchie and Premiership Rugby supremo Mark McCafferty.

The Australian, his head covered by a large black beanie hat, will have noted lively performances from scrum-half Danny Care and outside centre George Lowe, but it was Tim Visser who stole the show.

Scotland's Dutch-born wing claimed a hat-trick of tries, each of which took some finishing with the 28-year-old's strength and pace proving the undoing of Irish's defence.

The debate over Chris Robshaw will not have moved on after Saturday afternoon, with England's incumbent captain and openside merely workmanlike apart from a late burst into space.

Jones, who was forced to delay the start of his post as he waited for his visa to be issued, said of Robshaw during the World Cup that "at international level he just doesn't have that point of difference" and must have seen little at Twickenham Stoop to change his mind.

Quins were able to celebrate a bonus-point victory that strengthens their challenge for a place in the play-offs, while Irish are still searching for their first match points of the season.

The blustery conditions contributed to a scrappy opening half that initially offered Jones few pointers on the calibre the players available to him.

Care made a couple of lively breaks but produced a terrible kick for touch and after an uneventful 30 minutes Quins led 3-0 through a Nick Evans penalty.

The lead would have been extended had replacement wing Ross Chisholm shown enough gas to finish off a break by Lowe, but Alex Lewington arrived to bundle him into touch at the last possible moment.

Quins ratcheted up the pressure and were rewarded in the 33rd minute when Evans and Visser combined on the switch for a try that ended with the Scotland wing side-stepping over.

Openside Luke Wallace, hoping to prove to Jones he can be the poaching flanker England need, was unfortunate to be penalised for what look like a good steal early in the second half.

Lowe was enjoying a strong afternoon and his break down the right set up Quins' second try with Chisholm supplying the scoring pass to Care.

Care, looking to make the most of a powerful forward drive, turned provider in the 58th minute when he found Visser picking a good line. There was still work to be done but Visser's strength left a trail of would-be tacklers in his wake.

The Scot was initially denied his hat-trick by Lewington and the television match official, but with 10 minutes remaining he plundered his third to secure Quins a bonus point.

Evans' long pass offered sight of the line and by twisting and turning through defenders, he was able to touch down in the left corner.

Jack Clifford burrowed over from close range three minutes from time, but Irish had the final word when Halani Aulika touched down.

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