Entertainment, Sports

Esterhuizen loving life as Quins win at Gloucester

Harlequins started 2022 much the same way they ended 2021 with an impressive 20-17 win over Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm. 

The two sides struggled in the early exchanges, and it took 20 minutes before Adam Hastings finally opened the scoring from the tee to give the Cherry and Whites the lead. 

Gloucester’s maul attack has impressed this season, and it was a training ground move off the lineout that led to Ruan Ackermann crossing for the opening try of the match after 23 minutes. 

A Marcus Smith penalty and a converted Luke Northmore try got Quins right back into the game, with the scores level at 10-10 at half time. 

And it was the reigning champions who came out the blocks faster in the second half, creating several opportunities only for Gloucester to keep finding a way to prevent Quins from getting into the lead. 

That was until birthday boy Danny Care’s smart break off the back of a Quins maul led to him scoring in the corner and after Smith’s conversion and subsequent penalty three minutes later, the away side had a commanding 20-10 lead with just over 10 minutes to go. 

Santiago Socino’s late score brought Gloucester into losing bonus point range, but it was to be Quins’ day at Kingsholm. 

Andre Esterhuizen was given the man of the match award for the second week running, with a dominant display in both attack and defence contributing to a big Quins win against a top four rival. 

He said: “It was a great game, obviously a very tough ground to come to, a very hostile crowd, but we enjoyed it so much, good to grind out the win. 

“We had a lot of opportunities but couldn’t convert all of them, but still it was a great win.” 

Quins spent most of the second half trying to break through the Gloucester defence, and for the first time this season they recorded a victory without scoring four tries and getting that try bonus point. 

Esterhuizen added: “I think Gloucester has a great defence, they’ve had a good run in the Premiership so far, they’ve got great maul defence and a maul attack. 

“We knew the battle was going to come up front and yeah, our forwards put their hand up and they got stuck into them in a tough old game.” 

The South African centre has been impressive in Quins colours since joining, but his performances in the past few weeks have been a level even higher. 

When asked what he was particularly enjoying about his rugby at the moment he said:” Definitely not the weather! I think it’s just the way that we play at the moment, obviously winning makes it a lot easier. 

 

“I am enjoying the people around me and the fun we have on and off the field, I think that’s what drives me at the moment.” 

 

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