The Mail on Sunday

Evans the boot fires up Quins

- By Bill Day

QUINS fans breathed a sigh of relief when they saw the name Nick Evans in the team line-up yesterday.

Many of them had been hoodwinked into believing an April Fool prank on the club’s website suggesting the All Blacks fly-half had taken a shock sabbatical from rugby.

But, by the end, the laugh was on the twitterers as Evans turned on a virtuoso performanc­e to raise hopes of reaching the play-offs.

Evans scored all Quins’ 23 points — two tries, two conversion­s and three penalties — and made light of the cloying conditions. He executed a strike in each half and kicked through the gusting wind with an assassin’s accuracy.

For Quins, unbeaten in six games at home, it was the win their new rugby director Conor O’Shea had demanded.

But Newcastle were always likely to make life difficult for them. Carl Hayman was playing like a world-beater and Jimmy Gopperth, the league’s top points scorer, was delivering the points for the visitors to remain a threat.

A penalty apiece from the two rival kickers was the prelude to Evans’ first try, the New Zealander waltzing between three Newcastle players for a glorious strike before converting.

Newcastle fought hard to stay in the game with a try by Alex Walker just after the break, but two Evans penalties and a second try left Newcastle well beaten by the end.

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