Breach stars as women's rugby enjoys a first at Twickenham
Chichester's Jess Breach starred with a first-half hat-trick as Harlequins produced a scintillating display to run out 47-26 winners against Leinster at Twickenham.
In a first for women’s club rugby, the Premier 15s side was involved in Big Game 12 for the first time with the match following the men’s 30-30 draw with Leicester Tigers.
A dominant first half saw Quins score five tries with Rachael Burford and Anna Caplice crossing over while Breach - who was with Chichester and Pulborough rugby clubs as a youngster and whose family live in West Sussex - wrapped up her hat-trick just before the break as they led 33-12.
Leinster came out firing in the second half when Lindsay Peat powered over the line and despite a more controlled contest, Quins showed their strength and physicality to seal the victory.
Although the game was a friendly, it wasn’t clear as both teams went full pelt to produce their best performance on the hallowed turf of Twickenham.
England international Breach spliced open Leinster’s defence to score her first and flew down the left wing to dot over for her second.
The visitors got on the board when Daisy Earle powered over, but Harlequins soon extended their advantage when Burford got on the end of Ellie Green’s grubber.
A burst of pace saw Caplice cross for Harlequins’ fourth, but the deficit was reduced again when Linda Djougang scored under the posts after a sensational Sene Naoupu offload before Breach completed her hat-trick.
Peat’s close-range effort ensured Leinster remained in contact and the side’s continued to exchange scores with Amy Cokayne and Victoria Dabanovich-O’Mahony dotting down before Quins finished with a flourish through Fiona Fletcher.