Centre Lowe's timely intervention helps Harlequins launch Premiership campaign with win
The difference between winning and losing at the top level is often defined by very tight margins, just ask Harlequins’ George Lowe and Wasps fly half Andy Goode.
For Goode, the definition of tight is the width of a post as he missed the match winning kick in Saturday’s thrilling 16-15 win for Quins at Twickenham.
For Lowe, it is the last ditch first half tackle that stopped Wasps winger Tom Varndell in his tracks with the try line seemingly at his mercy.
Replacement scrum half Karl Dickson may have scored the game-clinching try, but it was the Kingston-born centre’s tackle – and Nick Evans’ boot – that kept his side in the game with Wasps threatening to run riot.
And the point was not lost on the 23-year-old former Epsom College student, who revealed his intervention was as much by luck as judgement and admitted it was an important first step on the road to the Premiership final.
“I looked across their attacking line and saw Tom [Varndell] waiting, so was ready,” said Lowe.
“I know how quick he is and with the space he had I knew he had a good chance of getting away. I just went for him.
“We do not practise that sort of tackle in training specifically. We just talk about work rate and not giving up.
“If you think you have a chance to stop them scoring, it is about doing everything you can to stop them.
“To get the away win is a great way to start the season. It was important to win.
“It was much tighter than we wanted, but it was the first game of the season and there are things to work on.”
Quins host Northampton Saints, who include Lions hero George North in their ranks, at the Stoop tonight [Friday], knowing their visitors enjoyed a try bonus point 38-11 win over Exeter Chiefs on Saturday.
And Lowe knows victory would make an equally important statement of intent for his side.
“They’ll be flying after a good win and they have some big ball carriers that we’ll have to stop,” he added.
“With George North, George Pisi and Ben Foden, they have some big ball carriers in the back line let along their forwards and we will have to stop them.
“There is no specific plan, but we have to focus on our defensive patterns.
“They like to attack round the sides so we will have to stop them getting over the gain line there.
“We are always talking about being the top team in the league and in Europe at the end of the year, but if we are going to do that these are the sort of games we have to win.”
Academy graduate and England Saxon Lowe, who started his rugby career as a junior at Cobham, recently extended his stay at the Stoop and, despite growing up at the club, is not sick of the place.
“It is nice to have secured my place in the squad. Hopefully, I can kick on,” he said.
Repeat performance: Quins replacement scrum half Karl Dickson scores the game-clinching try as Harlequins come from behind to beat Wasps 16-15 at Twickenham, although they had a scare when Andy Goode’s conversion attempt struck the post with the last kick of the game SP79039
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