Irish and Quins secure bonus-point wins

London Irish and Harlequins made successful returns to Gallagher Premiership action with bonus point victories over Newcastle and Wasps respectively on Sunday.

Both teams haven’t played since their 27-all draw on January 10 at The Stoop after Covid-19 put European competitions on hold.

But neither side showed any signs of rust with Irish seeing off the fourth-placed Falcons 31-22 at Brentford and ‘Quins running out 49-17 winners at the Ricoh Arena.

The Exiles led 24-8 with 10 minutes remaining thanks to tries from Argentine hooker Agustin Creevy, James Stokes and Curtis Rona but took their foot off the gas and gave up two converted scores to Sam Stuart and Gary Graham.

However, Motu Matu’u darted over three minutes from time to secure the win and move the side up to eighth spot on the 12-team table.

Harlequins, in their first match since head of rugby Paul Gustard’s shock exit earlier this month to join Italian side Benetton Treviso, produced their best performance of the season, running in six tries, with in-form fly-half Marcus Smith kicking three penalties and four conversions.

It was only the third time in premiership rugby history ‘Quins have scored over 40 points away from home and moved them up to sixth spot on the table.