Baggy kit no obstacle as Harlequins Women rout Wasps at Twickenham

Jess Breach scored a try on her long awaited comeback from a back injury

Credit: GETTY IMAGES

Harlequins Women 29 Wasps Women 5

The first ever Premier 15s match to be staged at Twickenham was overshadowed after Harlequins took to the field in oversized kit for the club’s “Big Game” double-header.

The women sported baggy shirts for the big occasion at the home of English rugby which was shown live on BT Sport, with many players choosing to roll up their sleeves.

Harlequins later confirmed the official matchday jersey for the 13th staging of their annual event was manufactured in “one kit, for both men’s and women’s teams” by Adidas. The kit sparked widespread criticism on social media, but Harlequins have vowed to source a bespoke female kit next season.

Gerard Mullen, the Harlequins head coach said: “It’s pretty important that we do try and get the kit nailed on with the girls. It is what it is. I don’t think it’s men’s kit. I’m interested in the five points and the performance.”

Rachael Burford, the Harlequins captain, said: “The club are incredible to put us in this position to play at Twickenham – very few get to play here – it’s such a privilege and honour [and] I don’t care what I was wearing as long as it had a Quins badge on it.”

The ill-fitting kit did little to distract the reigning league champions as they executed a clinical performance in front of a record crowd for a Premier 15s match, thought to have been 9,128.

Jess Breach crowned her comeback from a back injury with a try, while Ellie Kildunne and Heather Cowell also crossed in a display which underlined why Harlequins will kick-start 2022 with arguably the fiercest back line in the league. Jade Konkel continued her fine form by securing her side a vital bonus point moments later as Wasps, who failed to turn pressure into points, wilted.

With the fixture also benefiting from a television match official, Wasps hooker Cliodhna Maloney was sent off for a tackle on Kildunne late on, although earlier on, referee Nikki O’Donnell deemed Lagi Tuima’s barge tackle on Carys Williams to have been legal. Both incidents caused lengthy stoppages, but will only strengthen the argument for the TMO to be introduced in the league.

Having exposed Wasps’ weakness at the scrum, Harlequins capitalised on Maloney’s absence at the death when they stole a line-out in the danger zone, allowing Fi Fletcher to crash over as they leapfrogged Saracens to second in the table.

Match details

Scoring sequence: 5-0 Breach try, 7-0 Tuima con, 7-5 Boatman try, 12-5 Kildunne try, 17-5 Cowell try, 19-5 Tuima con, 24-5 Konkel try, 29-5 Fletcher try. 

Harlequins: Kildunne (Mayhew 71), Cowell (Auchen 59), Tuima, Burford, Breach, Scott, Packer (Swords 41); Cornborough (Cooper 71), Cokayne (Catlin 63), Brown (Duffy 73), Galligan (Sheffield 73), Fletcher, Konkel, Beckett.
Wasps: Mason (Wiliams 71) Boatman, Rowland, Burton, Williams, Jones, Nye (Wong 63); Kerr, Maloney, Muir, Cooney, Monaghan, Crake (Balogun 46), Molloy, Millar-Mills.
Sent off: Maloney.
Referee: Nikki O’Donnell.

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