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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Pa Sport Staff

Stephan Lewies sent off as London Irish pile more misery on Harlequins


Harlequins’ miserable league run continued with their fourth straight Premiership defeat after a red card for captain Stephan Lewies ruined any chance of them ending that sequence against London Irish.

Lewies was sent off for a dangerous challenge to the head of opposition No 8 Chandler Cunningham-South, and Irish took full advantage with a bonus-point victory to leave them just one point behind Quins in the Premiership table.

Michael Dykes scored a hat-trick of tries, Cunningham-South, Tom Pearson and James Stokes the others with Paddy Jackson converting all six in a 42-24 victory.

Quins’ response was a penalty try award and tries from Tommy Allan, Dino Lamb and Josh Bassett. Allan also added a conversion.

Irish began strongly to take a fourth-minute lead. Twice they declined kicks at goal in favour of attacking line-outs and were rewarded when Cunningham-South crashed over from the second.

Three minutes later the hosts scored again when Stokes made the initial burst before feeding Pearson, whose pass provided Dykes with an easy run-in.

Jackson converted both for his side to have a 14-0 lead at the end of one-sided first 15 minutes but Quins finally got a foothold in the match.

A strong run from Nick David secured the visitors a platform in the Irish 22 before they were awarded a penalty try when Dykes deliberately knocked on to prevent a score from David.

The Irish wing was yellow-carded but immediately they received a boost when Stokes capitalised on a favourable bounce to run 30 metres to score.

After Jackson had converted, TMO replays showed a dangerous challenge from Lewies and the Quins’ flanker was sent off.

The home side then suffered two blows in quick succession. Australia international lock Adam Coleman departed with a serious arm injury before David tore their defence to shreds to create a try for Allan.

Dykes returned from the sin-bin before Irish received a further setback when prop Will Goodrick-Clarke departed with a leg injury.

However, they overcame this to score their bonus-point try from Dykes with another successful kick from Jackson giving Irish a 28-12 interval lead.

Four minutes after the restart, Dykes supported a break from Ben White to complete his hat-trick before Irish introduced Henry Arundell for his first appearance since September.

Spirited Quins remained in the fight when first a clean break from Andre Esterhuizen created a try for Bassett before Lamb forced his way over to earn a bonus point.

Irish’s nerves were jangling but Joe Marler was yellow-carded for collapsing to put an end to any hopes of a remarkable Quins’ comeback with a late try from Pearson sealing victory.

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