Aviva Premiership: Harlequins hold on for victory over London Wasps
Last Updated: 07/09/13 7:01pm
Karl Dickson (c) celebrates what turned out to be the match-winning try
Andy Goode's injury-time conversion came back off the post as Harlequins held on to win the derby season-opener against Wasps 16-15 at Twickenham.
The first half proved to be a scrappy affair as two normally free-flowing teams were unable to hold on to the ball for any sustained period.
Wasps did find their way over the try-line through Joe Launchbury and Andy Goode added a conversion and a penalty as they led 10-3 at the break, but genuine chances were at a premium.
Quins' response in the opening period came through a Nick Evans' three-pointer before the fly-half added two more penalties after the interval.
Karl Dickson then went over late on, but Tom Palmer's touchdown gave Goode the chance to snatch the win. However, his effort hit the left-hand post.
In the same fixture last season, Wasps led 40-13 early in the second half only to succumb 42-40 after a superb comeback by the Stoop-based team.
That time, the High Wycombe outfit started with a high tempo and exposed a lacklustre Quins' side.
It seemed this match could go the same way when Launchbury touched down in the opening minute after early pressure.
Goode, a new signing from Worcester Warriors, was on target with the conversion as Wasps took a 7-0 advantage.
However, that was quickly reduced by former New Zealand international Evans although uncharacteristically, both teams were struggling to put phases together. And although Wasps' stand-off restored their seven-point lead after 13 minutes that was the last scoring action of the half.
Quins' prospects were not helped by the unusually wayward kicking of their fly-half, who missed two opportunities before the interval. But he was not about to continue that streak as Conor O'Shea's men hit back after the break.
Evans was successful with two three-pointers to bring them to within one point.
Quins were still finding it difficult to break down a stubborn Wasps' team, but the crucial score eventually came when Dickson finished from close-range after the forwards had done the hard yards.
Back came Wasps, though, and Palmer went over after a period of pressure, but Goode's conversion attempt was agonisisngly off-target and came back off the upright.