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Harlequins 39 Sharks Cell C 29

The game was billed as the last game of Nick Evans, the Kiwi ex-fly half & Quins coach, before joining the England set up for the Six Nations but in truth it was more about South Africa.

The Durban Sharks travelled economy class from 34* to 3* temperatures with Kolisi and Eben Etzebeth but no Mbpimpi, whilst Quins had South African Stephan Lewies back in the second row alongside his compatriots Andre Esterhuizen, Wilko Luow and Irne Herbst.

It proved a most exciting encounter with a bizarre incident in the second half.

A mighty shove from the Durban pack recoiled the Quins one, forcing Joe Marler to detach himself from the caterpillar set up.

This left the ball on its own but not for long as Etzebeth nipped round, retrieved it and set off for the line.

Much was made of the ethics of this and whether it was offside but few praised the athleticism and pace of Etzebeth for outstripping the Quins defence.

See here – courtesy of – YOUTUBE

Tries from Elwies and Nick David restored Quins’ advantage, who now qualify for the next stage.

There is now an intriguing selection dilemma for England.

The smart money is for Owen Farrell to be picked at fly half.

This is ironic as Nick Evan would surely be a Marcus Smith fan whilst Farrell has lost his biggest ally Eddie Jones.

I suspect that one day in the future the ex-Leicester Tigers number ten George Ford will get the gig.

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About Derek Williams

A recently-retired actuary, the long-suffering Derek has been a Quins fan for the best part of three decades. More Posts