Harlequins 50-26 Worcester: Bitter divorce bringing best out of Brown

Harlequins 50-26 Worcester: Bitter divorce bringing the best out of ‘old’ full-back Mike Brown as former England star shines as Quins score five first-half tries on way to victory

  • Harlequins boosted their playoff chances with a 50-26 win over Worcester 
  • The Londoners scored five first-half tries with full-back Mike Brown impressing
  • The departing Brown shone by starting several of Quins’ five first-half tries 

For all the colours in the Harlequins palette Brown is the one the club have decided to ditch.

But full-back Mike continues his technicolour form as the Londoners paint themselves into the Premiership playoff picture.

The board that told one of their modern greats he had no future here in four minutes flat watched on for another quality 80 from the former England man, who with the excellent Danny Care, Marcus Smith and Alex Dombrandt have Quins dreaming of a first semi-final appearance since 2014.

The departing Mike Brown (second left) shone for Harlequins in their 50-26 win over Worcester

The Twickenham victory has Quins dreaming of a Premiership play-off appearance this year

Back in fourth place today nestled in the peloton on Sale’s wheel Quins look to be timing their sprint well with six regular rounds left.

It is a mix of old and new pedalling them there. Between them they scored eight tries in a routine win against bottom-placed Warriors short of weapons, with Smith taking 15 points.

Quins assistant Jerry Flannery hailed Brown. ‘He was top class,’ said the former hooker. ‘He wins so many big moments. If someone was to come down from The Moon and look at him you wouldn’t think he was 35 with the way he plays.’

There is not just a bar named after Brown at The Stoop; publicity banners have pictures of him all over and even the media WiFi password is based on his name.

Quins will have to change all that this summer, with him begrudgingly off to Newcastle having been told he was no longer needed here and sent packing.

Andre Esterhuizen (right) was another to shine for the Quins, who scored five first-half tries

Until then Brown will continue to prowl the back-field, claim high-balls and flick deft passes for a Quins side joyously freewheeling having had their stabilisers removed since Paul Gustard left.

Brown started a couple of Quins’ five first-half tries, and he Care, Dombrandt and Andre Esterhuizen were loving it in the Twickenham sun, picking off Worcester at will without really hitting top gear.

Care – auditioning for the Lions – scored the first nipping round the blind-side of a lineout within five minutes, which opened the floodgates.

Eleven minutes in the sides had two tries each, Niall Annett and Joe Batley bashing over for Worcester and Smith performing a slick one-two with Dombrandt to isolate Ollie Lawrence and run in.

Then Esterhuizen, Wilco Louw and Will Evans – the latter another sneak round a five-metre lineout – added scores to put Quins into a comfortable half-time lead as Smith kicked three conversions.

Will Evans scored an acrobatic try in Quins’ emphatic victory at home on Saturday afternoon

Worcester should be scrapping for their lives well behind Gloucester bottom of the league on 19 points – eight ‘won’ after Covid cancellations.

Cosy as they are with Premiership shares and no threat of relegation a 13th defeat in 16 did not mean much.

Brown created the next Quins score with a good kick, better chase and a turnover to force a penalty which Smith kicked to touch, the Londoners drove on and Evans finished.

Luke Northmore had their eighth, assisted by Joe Marchant, but Brett Herron missed the kick so Quins ended on a round 50 as Richard Palframan and Alex Hearle took a try each in the last minute to nick Worcester a losing bonus point. Their coach Jon Thomas said: ‘It’s not acceptable to concede 50.’

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