Chiefs continue winning run
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: Exeter Chiefs became just the second side in Premiership history to take a perfect 30 points from six matches after coming from behind to beat Harlequins at the Stoop.
Henry Slade was the man to cross for the vital fourth try, following up Lachlan Turner's score just a couple of minutes before to switch the game on its head.
Dave Ewers and Michele Campagnaro had put the Chiefs ahead by half-time, the perfect response to Mat Luamanu's try with barely two minutes on the board in the capital.
But Nick Evans rolled back the years to score a brilliant intercept try to put Quins ahead, only for the double salvo – and another Turner score – ensured Exeter's mesmeric form was not to end there.
Quins started off in frantic fashion as Luamanu crossed with barely two minutes on the board, finding the gap down the left wing after some zipping passes opened up the opportunity.
Danny Care was the man to eventually find Luamanu, but Chiefs responded in immediate fashion, winning a penalty from which Henry Slade duly added three points.
The hosts continued to look lively though, notably through dazzling handling, but it was superb work from Slade who had Exeter ahead for the first time.
His sleight of hand sent his side down the left channel, still leaving Ewers with plenty of work to do as he powered his way over the tryline – dotting down for his side's first score of the evening.
Still both sides were pushing forward, lighting up the Stoop with some scintillating rugby, none more so than Exeter's second try of the match.
After a high ball went loose, Short gathered and made ground prior to firing Olly Woodburn, delivering an exquisite back-of-the-hand pass to Campagnaro who was left with the simple task of crossing. Slade converted to make the score 15-8.
A second Evans penalty made sure the half-time difference was just four, but the flyhalf was to well and truly come to the fore just after the interval.
The veteran was in the right place at the right time and, despite a plethora of pressure on his run, had the legs to dot down in the corner to become Quins' record points scorer against the Chiefs.
The two sides then traded penalties to go into the final 15 minutes just a point apart, but from there Rob Baxter's side turned on the style.
First Turner got his opening score of the night, breaking down the left and chipping to himself to dot down and put his side back ahead once again.
It was to get better soon after as a Jack Maunder box-kick fell nicely into the path of Slade. He still had plenty to do though, chipping and chasing his own effort to run home the fourth score.
Gareth Steenson's conversion ensured a 13-point lead, before Turner got his second after showing some superb fight to wrap up the victory.
There was just about time for a late Tim Visser consolation, though it wasn't enough to prevent a second home defeat of the season for Harlequins.
Tries: Luamanu, Evans, Visser
Pens: Evans 3
Tries: Ewers, Campagnaro, Turner 2, Slade
Cons: Slade, Steenson 3
Pens: Slade 2
Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care (captain), 8 Mat Luamanu, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 James Horwill, 4 Charlie Matthews, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Rob Buchanan, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Will Collier, 19 George Merrick, 20 Dave Ward, 21 Charlie Mulchrone, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Alofa Alofa.
Exeter: 15 Lachie Turner, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 James Short, 10 Henry Slade, 9 Jack Maunder, 8 Kai Horstmann, 7 Don Armand, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Dave Dennis, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Jack Yeandle (captain), 1 Carl Rimmer.
Replacements: 16 Shaun Malton, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Ollie Atkins, 20 Julian Salvi, 21 Stuart Townsend, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Sam Hill.
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant Referees: JP Doyle, Paul Dix
TMO: Sean Davey