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Alofa Alofa try means Harlequins win at Worcester in Anglo-Welsh Cup


Alofa Alofa's late try proved decisive for Harlequins at Worcester.

Alofa Alofa's late try proved decisive for Harlequins at Worcester.

Alofa Alofa's late try proved decisive for Harlequins at Worcester.

Harlequins came from behind to put themselves in a great position at the top of the Anglo-Welsh Cup pool three after a bonus point victory over battling Worcester.

Other than one period in the first half, it was a superb game throughout as Worcester took a one-point lead into the final quarter following tries from centre Wynard Olivier, wing Bryce Heem and hooker Joe Taufete'e, with fly-half Ryan Mills converting two and adding a penalty.

Quins had scored three tries via wing Charlie Walker, lock Charlie Matthews and wing Alofa Alofa, with Ruaridh Jackson converting them all, before another converted Alofa touchdown gave the visitors a 28-22 success.

The hosts struck Quins with two early sucker-punches as they showed no signs of the struggles they have endured in this season's Aviva Premiership.

The Warriors played fluid, attacking rugby and were 14 points to the good before Quins could settle.

Just a minute into the game, an excellent break by Heem - back in action after a hand injury - set up Olivier to cross, with Mills converting from wide out.

And in the ninth minute, centre Wynand Olivier found pace on the left to round the Quins defence but unselfishly gave the ball inside to Heem for a better chance of scoring. Heem obliged as he ran under the posts, making Mills' conversion simple.

The Warriors could have had a third try when debutant wing Auguy Slowik chased a kick to the Quins goal-line - only to miss out when full-back Aaron Morris was in front of him to prevent the score.

Quins found their chances to cross the line few and far between as the home defence closed down the gaps effectively.

Jackson missed a penalty but a brilliant opportunist try, when Walker raced 40 metres around the straggling home midfield, which Jackson converted easily, brought Quins back into the match.

However, the contest deteriorated for the final 15 minutes of the first half, becoming a stalemate between the two 22-metre lines.

Worcester were, though, unlucky not to add to their lead in the final seconds when a 43-metre Mills penalty struck an upright and bounced clear.

The second period opened in blistering style, with Worcester increasing their lead after they forced a couple of penalties inside the Quins 22. The hosts opted for attacking line-outs and benefited when Tau fete'e went over under a pile of bodies.

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A loss of concentration in mdifield saw Quins bounce back when Matthews intercepted just inside his own half and galloped all the way to the posts, leaving Jackson with an easy conversion.

The game opened up with Quins hooker Dave Ward just missing out on a try, before some outstanding inter-passing from 40 metres brought Alofa an impressive try, with Jackson's wide conversion putting the Londoners in front for the first time.

Mills landed a 25-metre penalty to put Worcester a point in front in the final quarter but Quins put the squeeze on them and Alofa got his second and Quins' bonus point try with nine minutes left.

Worcester made it even harder for themselves when replacement Darren Barry was yellow carded for tackling a man in the air and that was enough for Quins to win.

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