Aviva Premiership: Harlequins defeat ill-disciplined Gloucester
Last Updated: 23/11/13 6:28pm
Nick Easter: Scores Harlequins' opening try of the contest
Harlequins celebrated 50 years at the Twickenham Stoop with a 27-19 win over Gloucester in the Aviva Premiership.
Gloucester were firmly in contention for the first half-hour but could not overcome the loss of three players to the sin bin.
Nick Easter and Danny Care both crossed for tries, while Gloucester scrum-half Jimmy Cowan was on the sidelines, while Luke Wallace also crossed for a try in the second half.
The visitors also scored three tries, with Billy Twelvetrees grabbing a double and Jonny May also crossing the line, but there was to be no second-half comeback.
Gloucester were penalised straight from the kick-off and fell behind to a penalty from Nick Evans, but Quins were soon put under pressure when Mike Brown kicked out on the full.
The visitors secured possession and capitalised when hooker Huia Edmonds threw a delightful dummy to send Twelvetrees over for the try which Freddie Burns failed to convert.
Evans put Quins back in front with his second penalty and Gloucester were having marginally the better of the half before they suffered two crucial blows in quick succession.
First Cowan was yellow-carded for deliberately impeding Care as the Quins scrum-half chased his own kick, before Easter drove over from a close range line-out for a try which Evans converted.
Worse was to follow for the visitors as Burns' restart went straight into touch to put his side on the back foot once again. Quins were soon back in the opposition 22 and over the try line when Care saw a gap and darted over for Evans to convert.
Cowan's absence had seen Gloucester concede 14 points, but he returned in time to see Burns miss with a straight-forward penalty to leave Gloucester trailing 20-5 at half-time.
Within three minutes of the restart, Gloucester were back down to 14 men as skipper Tom Savage was yellow-carded for taking down George Robson in the line-out. Evans kicked for the corner, Wallace drove over and Evans converted to kill the game off.
Half-time replacement Martyn Thomas became Gloucester's third player to be sent to the bin, but they made light of the disadvantage when May seized a loose ball and ran 50 metres to score a try which Burns converted.
Quins did not escape the sin bin treatment as Robson was shown the yellow card, while the home side looked to have extended their lead when Tom Williams crossed the line but the TMO spotted a forward pass.
With 13 minutes remaining both teams had their numbers restored and it was Gloucester who finished the stronger to gain reward with a late try from Twelvetrees, who collected a clever chip through from Burns to score.