|Harlequins (13) 34|
|Tries: Lasike, Cavubati, Smith, Penalty try Cons: Smith 3 Pens: Smith 2|
|Exeter: (13) 30|
|Tries: J Simmonds 2 Dollman Cons: J Simmonds 3 Pens: J Simmonds 3|
Harlequins secured an extraordinary bonus-point win over Exeter with an injury-time penalty try at The Stoop.
Trailing by three points deep into added time, Quins were camped on the Chiefs line and were awarded the try after a series of penalties.
Exeter took an early lead in the tight contest through Phil Dollman, before Paul Lasike replied.
Joe Simmonds’ double looked to have won it for the visitors but Quins dug deep to snatch victory late on.
The engrossing contest was tight throughout, with neither side able to open up anything more than a seven-point lead.
Dollman was first on the scoresheet after bursting through a weak tackle from Quins outside-half Marcus Smith, who was otherwise excellent.
Quins hit back through powerful centre Paul Lasike who bulldozed his way over as the teams went in level at the break.
Half-time substitute Tevita Cavubati powered over to put the hosts ahead before the impressive Joe Simmonds took centre stage.
The Chiefs number 10 scored two tries in three minutes to stun Quins and turn the game on its head.
Smith’s beautiful arcing run and sprint to the corner levelled it up again before Simmonds put Chiefs back into the lead from the tee.
They remained in front as the clock ticked into the red but the late Quins pressure finally told when Christophe Ridley signalled the penalty try.
The five points moves the London side into sixth and within two points of the play-off places, while Exeter remain top of the table.
Harlequins: Morris; Ismaiel. Penny, Lasike, Ibitoye; Smith, Care; Lambert, Baldwin, Kerrod, Young, Symons, Chisholm, Robshaw (capt), Dombrandt
Replacements: Gray, Auterac, Collier, Cavubati, Kunatani, Saunders, Herron, Saili
Exeter: Dollman; O’Flaherty, Whitten, Hendrickson, Woodburn; Simmonds (capt), White; Hepburn, Taione, Pieretto, Kirsten, Skinner. Ewers, Vermeulen, Simmonds
Replacements: Poole, Keast, Schickerling, Hill, Armand, Maunder, Steenson, Devoto.
Referee: Christophe Ridley.
Yellow cards: Auterac (Harlequins); Devoto (Exeter).
Harlequins head of rugby Phil Gustard:
“That was one of the more important wins. I was really impressed with the character of the team, six and a half minutes to go, to go for a scrum and not settle for a draw.
“I think the referee got the call right at the end. Their loosehead turned his hips out and drove across.
“For me, one point would not have been enough, two points would have been OK, but it was important we had the balls to go for the four or the five. And with three tries already, it moves us up the table significantly.”
Exeter boss Rob Baxter:
“We had plenty of other opportunities to see it out. I never felt it was a penalty try, we weren’t going backwards. That’s the thing with scrum penalties.
“But you have to have more discipline than that, and fair play to Harlequins. They could have chosen three or four times to take the three points and draw the game.
“They decided to work very hard, and eventually they have worked us, got that penalty try and won the game. You have to give them the credit for that.”