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Harlequins hoping for repeat of 2016 Challenge Cup semi-final

Thursday 18th October 2018

12:24 pm (GMT)

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Care

Danny Care in Challenge Cup semi-final action for Harlequins against Grenoble.

Harlequins travel to face newly-promoted Grenoble on Saturday, with their only previous encounter coming in 2016 when they defeated the French side 30-6 in a Challenge Cup semi-final at Twickenham Stoop. The match is live on FRTV from 20:00 BST.

  • Three-time tournament winners, Harlequins, have lost four of their last five away games against TOP 14 opponents in the Challenge Cup, scoring an average of 12 points per match in those defeats.
  • Grenoble have won their last two home games against Gallagher Premiership sides, having won just one of their initial eight such matches (D1, L6).
  • Quins (56) have played one fewer Challenge Cup games than Grenoble (57) but have recorded almost twice as many wins (41 v 22).
  • Harlequins’ last five victories in the Challenge Cup have come by an average margin of 38 points, including a 32-point win over Agen in Round 1.

  • Grenoble have lost seven of their last eight matches in the Challenge Cup, a home win against Newcastle Falcons their only success in this run.
  • Grenoble had the best discipline record of any side in Round 1, conceding just two penalties.
  • Despite being one of three clubs to score 50+ points in Round 1, Harlequins also made the most tackles (170).
  • Quins’ George Merrick made a competition high 24 tackles in Round 1, no Grenoble player made more than nine.
  • No one made more offloads than Harlequins’ Semi Kunatani (4) last weekend.

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Grenoble edge past Harlequins in close affair

Saturday 20th October 2018

10:00 pm (GMT)

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Grenoble edge past Harlequins in close affair

Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith

Lolagi Visinia’s intercept try gave Grenoble victory at the Stade des Alpes, defeating Harlequins 19-13 in Pool 5 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup.

Fly-half Corentin Glenat put Grenoble ahead after only four minutes, with his penalty sailing over comfortably. But, Marcus Smith’s intercept try – which he converted – put the away side 7-3 ahead.

Grenoble defence was tested for much of the first 40 minutes but they were resolute and fought back to lead 9-7  at half-time, courtesy of two penalties by 18-year-old Glenat.

Harlequins’ young fly-half of their own, Smith, slotted two penalties after the break to regain his team’s lead.

Both teams continued to be strong in defence and it took another intercept for a try to be scored. Grenoble’s Visinia picked off the loose ball with Harlequins on the front foot and sprinted 70 metres downfield to score under the posts. The extras were added by Burton Francis.

The French side were put under plenty of pressure in the final 10 minutes but held on to take victory.

Grenoble will host Agen next in Round 3, while Harlequins travel to Benetton Rugby.

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