Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Joe Marler 'sails close to wind as he's that type of player' - Harlequins boss

Harlequins director of rugby John Kingston was not unduly concerned about prop Joe Marler's ill-discipline during Saturday's 36-14 victory over Worcester at the Stoop.

Marler was sin-binned after 30 minutes of the Aviva Premiership game for dragging down a maul and, on his return, was involved in a number of skirmishes which saw him receive a warning from the referee and risk picking up another yellow card which would have seen him permanently dismissed.

"I wasn't really bothered about Joe as he had 10 minutes' rest for the yellow card and hasn't had a lot of rugby," Kingston said. "I was also keen to bring Mark Lambert on for his 200th appearance, so it was a balancing act for the two props.

"Joe is a combative sort who sails close to the wind as he's that type of player."

Kingston had watched his Quins side perform poorly in the first half before a strong second-half effort saw them pick up a bonus-point triumph by scoring five tries.

Joe Marchant, Danny Care, Mike Brown, Tim Visser and James Horwill scored their tries with Nick Evans kicking a penalty and three conversions. Tim Swiel added a conversion.

"We scored very early on but we got too ambitious and impatient on the ball and defensively we weren't as intense as we can be and being just one per cent off at this level can be enough," Kingston said.

"I got some messages across at half-time and thereafter we moved skilfully through the gears and by the end we looked a really good side."

England squad prop Kyle Sinckler was a late withdrawal for Quins.

Kingston added: "It's an arm injury with slight damage. It only happened last Saturday and it's not major but we erred on the side of caution by leaving him out."

An impressive Ben Te'o spearheaded Worcester's performance and it was he and fellow centre Jackson Willison who scored Warriors' tries, with Jamie Shillcock adding two conversions.

Worcester boss Carl Hogg praised Te'o's display, saying: "Ben was outstanding today after a somewhat stuttering start to his Warriors' career. He's a class act and it is important for us as he gives a different dynamic to our back line.

"We put Quins under pressure in the first half and we needed to nail that attacking line-out when they were down to 14 men and then we would have put them under more pressure.

"After the restart, Quins scored two quick tries and the game was a different contest as we conceded a few soft tries out there.

"That 10-minute window early in the second half saw us lose control and we need to be more robust when the pressure comes on."


From Belfast Telegraph