Harlequins boost play-off bid with win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Harlequins boost play-off bid with win

23/03/2009 07:02:22 AM Comments (0)

Harlequins turned on the style against Sale to keep their Premiership rugby play-off bid on course with a convincing 38-20 victory on Sunday.

The hosts scored four tries in the second half to sweep Sale aside and move into fourth place.

Centre De Wet Barry secured what could prove an important bonus point with their fourth try after hooker Gary Botha, winger Seb Stegmann and number eight Tom Guest struck the earlier blows for Quins.

Fly-half Chris Malone, who is moving to London Irish at the end of the season, kicked 18 points, landing four penalties and three conversions after being called up in place of injured former New Zealand number 10 Nick Evans.

Ex-England fly-half Charlie Hodgson replied with five penalties from five attempts and a late consolation try for Sale, who have now lost seven of their last eight away matches.

Sale, whose own top four hopes were dealt a blow, suffered another with the return of All Blacks star Luke McAlister lasting only 26 minutes.

London Irish edged a nail-biting encounter against a gallant Northampton side in front of a 21,000 crowd at the Madejski Stadium.

It was end-to-end stuff with from Tom Homer kicking eight from eight on his way to 22 points.

Gloucester's decision to allow Willie Walker to play against Worcester backfired spectacularly as the on-loan fly-half kicked the hosts to a 14-10 victory and closer to safety.

Walker joined Worcester on loan last month after Gloucester recruited Carlos Spencer from Northampton. But there was no clause in the agreement which prevented Walker playing in this fixture and he proved a pivotal figure, landing three penalties in nine first-half minutes.

Wasps pushed Bristol to the brink of Premiership relegation with a 21-19 win at Adams Park, but failed to convince that their European Cup qualification ambitions will be realised.

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