• Harlequins 42-26 Sale
• Clifford leaves Eddie Jones with headache for autumn internationals
The victory for Harlequins was polished but Jack Clifford’s suspected dislocated shoulder promptly removed the shine. The back-row joins their walking wounded – already a seemingly endless list – and leaves Eddie Jones with a further headache for England’s autumn internationals in November.
The 24-year-old, drafted into the England training squad for the injured Billy Vunipola last month, was withdrawn shortly before half-time against Sale and is a serious doubt for the autumn fixtures. With Vunipola already out of the running and Nathan Hughes missing Wasps’ trip to Saracens on Sunday, Jones is swiftly running out of options at No8.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/06/harlequins-sale-premiership-match-report-jack-clifford-injury
• Harlequins 28-17 Gloucester
• Home side claim first win of the season in a stormy encounter
Thunder and lightning above the pitch, and a stormy encounter on it – ultimately settled by Marland Yarde’s try as Harlequins overcame a nasty looking injury to their new South African fly-half, Demetri Catrakilis, to claim a first win of the season.
Catrakilis was taken off on a stretcher after 13 minutes when he was struck by a shoulder to the throat and while he was sitting upright as he departed, whenever injured players receive oxygen as they leave the field it does not look good. His replacement – the 18-year-old Marcus Smith, who was also making his home debut – endured a rocky start but eventually guided his side home, playing a significant role in first-half tries for Dave Ward and Charlie Walker.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/09/harlequins-gloucester-premiership-match-report
• Harlequins 26-39 Exeter
• Eddie Jones on hand to watch Slade and Dave Ewers
Henry Slade’s delightful solo try lit up another bonus point victory for Exeter in which the Chiefs fly-half demonstrated his infuriating habit of dazzling and deflating in equal measure. Eddie Jones was in attendance, casting his eye over a raft of players who are likely to make his squad for the summer tour to Argentina and while Slade will be one of them, his tendency to blow hot and cold belies his unquestionable talent.
As it was, Slade’s dink over the top was a sucker punch for Harlequins, who had just conceded a similar try from Lachie Turner, drafted into the squad just an hour before kick-off, down the right. Up until then Harlequins had been competitive, Nick Evans keeping them in the hunt, but scores from the towering Dave Ewers – another in contention for the trip to South America – Michele Campagnaro, Slade and two for Turner ensured the Chiefs march towards the playoffs, now unbeaten in 13 league matches.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/apr/14/harlequins-exeter-premiership-rugby-match-report