Premier league champions had to fight all the way to the end to overcome a battling Warriors side. Harlequins looked on course for victory after leading 28-10 before Worcester hit back with two tries, before a Dino Lamb score late in the game kept Warriors at bay.
Sara Cox- who today became the first women to referee a Gallagher Premiership- was in action as early as the second minute when her first decision she made was to give Worcester a penalty after Quins impeded at the ruck. Fly-half Owen Williams stepped up to slot over for the first points of the game. Quins were penalised for being offside shortly afterwards with William’s kick coming off the post.
It took the champions a little while to find their feet but after 17minutes they had taken the lead. A trademark Danny Care tap and go saw the scrum-half throw the ball out wide to Louis Lynagh who powered his way over the line after beating three defenders.
Quins added to their count when a driving maul saw Alex Dombrandt driven over. Tommy Allan added the extras from under the posts to give the home side a 14-3 lead. Worcester had to survive the last five minutes of the half when Noah Heward was sent to the bin for tacking Tyrone Green out in the air.
Having even to survive just five minutes from the break proved a disadvantage for the visitors with Quins grabbing their third try of the half right on the stroke of half time from a Harlequins line out the ball was worked to the left wing where Cadan Murley crossed in the corner on his 50th appearance for the club, with Allan converting the champions went into the break leading 21-3.
Warriors desperately needed to get some points on the board at the start of the second half and within three minutes Ollie Lawrence spotted a gap and burst through to touch down. Williams converted to reduce the gap to 11 points.
Harlequins responded when another Care tap and go resulted in a try. A ball over the top from Luke Northmore found Joe Marchant who ran in for the try bonus point.
With harlequins looking the likely winners, Worcester hit back in a big way with two tries in the space of four minutes. A Williams high kick was pounced on by Willi Heinz who touched down before replacement Will Chudley crossed to set up a terrific finish.
The next points in the dying moments of the game would be pivotal. With six minutes to go another tap and go from a penalty paid off dividends for Harlequins with Dino lamb on his 50th appearance in the famous quarters going over to settle the game.
There was still time for Worcester to get something for their hard earned work when Marc Thomas went over for the try bonus point and losing point.
Harlequins 35 Worcester Warriors 29
Gallagher Premiership Saturday 25th September 2021
Peter Moore at the Stoop