Aviva Premiership: Quins back on top after tense win over Gloucester
Last Updated: 03/11/12 7:30pm
Harlequins returned to the top of the Aviva Premiership table following a 28-25 success over Gloucester at the Twickenham Stoop.
First-half tries from Mike Brown, Matt Hopper and Sam Smith gave Quins a 15-12 lead, while Nick Evans kicked three penalties for the home side.
Evans booted the home side into a 3-0 lead, but it lasted three minutes as Freddie Burns' successful penalty levelled the scoreline.
Quins scored the first try when a strong run from Maurie Fa'asavalu provided the field position before the ball was spread out wide for full-back Mike Brown to touch down. Evans converted for a 10-3 lead.
Gloucester dug in and three consecutive penalties from rising star Burns put the visitors 12-10 to the good with 34 minutes played.
However, Harlequins finished the half with a flourish with Danny Care's quick tap freed Tom Williams, who drew in his markers before feeding Hopper to score.
With half-time approaching Martyn Thomas' pass was picked off by Sam Smith who raced half the length of the field to give Quins their second try of the half and a 22-12 lead thanks to Evans' successful conversion.
Burns reduced the arrears after half-time with another penalty, but Gloucester found themselves down to 14 men when Shane Monahan was sin-binned for tackling Brown in the air.
Quins failed to extend their lead with a man advantage when Evans pulled his penalty wide of the near post, but he made amends on 59 minutes with a three-pointer from 41 metres out.
Gloucester again made it a seven-point game courtesy of Burns' successful penalty - his sixth of the contest. However, the sides continued to swap penalties as Evans booted Quins 28-18 in front.
Harlequins surrendered field position in the closing stages and Gloucester counter-attacked in style by going the length of the field with Billy Twelvetrees scoring and Burns converting, but it was too little too late.