London Irish beat Harlequins on Premiership return
Aviva Premiership newcomers London Irish have beaten Harlequins 39-29 at Twickenham.
Quins came close to pulling back a 21-10 deficit at half time but Irish held on take the victory.
London Irish took a 6-0 lead inside the opening eight minutes with Tommy Bell putting the ball through the posts twice.
Eighteen-year-old debutant Marcus Smith then pulled three points back with a penalty kick from the 22 before Bell missed at the other end.
Topsy Ojo put the Exiles 10 points clear when he scored the first try of the game in the 24th minute. James Marshall’s long kick was collected by Ojo who crossed after exchanging passes with Fergus Mulchrone.
Bell stretched Irish’s lead further on the half-hour mark, crossing over in the corner after Blair Cowan’s offload.
Quins did score a try before half time to close the gap when Joe Marchant sprinted through the defence from 20 yards.
Ofisa Treviranus scored the best try of the game in the 58th minute to stretch London Irish’s lead to 19 points. Alex Lewington and Greig Tonks combined brilliantly before finding Treviranus to power down at the line.
Marland Yarde made it a two-try game when he crossed after receiving the ball from Danny Care. Care then got on the scoresheet himself from close range.
Mike Brown was sinbinned late on to leave Quins shorthanded but that did not stop Charlie Walker from going over to set up a tense finish.
London Irish did hold on in the remaining two minutes though and Brendan McKibbin put the game to bed when he intercepted to go over from close range.