James Haskell and Danny Cipriani were sidelined by the Wasps, which played some part in their loss to Harlequins, ending a run of 20 Premiership home wins in a row. Haskell was penalized after a clash with Joe Marler. Until then the hosts were in the lead thanks to points scored by Christian Wade.
Quins led the match initially with the extra man when Mike Brown fed Marland Yarde for a try, but Wasps led 13-11 at the break. Charlie Walker went over for Quins, Tom Cruise reacted and with the score 21-21 Marcus Smith scored the penalty that ultimately won them the game.
It was a first for the Dai Young’s side to have failed to win at the Ricoh Arena in the Premiership since December 2015, when they were beaten by the Saracens. They had set a club record of consecutive home league victories until this loss broke their winning streak.
England and Lions flanker Haskell started on the bench on his comeback from finger surgery and had only been on the pitch for nine minutes when he was penalized for grappling with his international teammate Marler.
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young was philosophical. “What you want from referees is consistency and I’ve got to be honest, I thought he was consistent – he gave us nothing all game and that’s all you can ask for really. There comes a time when you’ve got to look at the guys that spark these things up, not somebody that’s going to take exception to someone ripping their hat off and squirting water in their face.”
Harlequins rugby director John Kingston: “It was very important for us to be very physical, very confrontational, but also to make sure we were on the right side of the line. By the end, that just about happened. Rugby’s a physical sport, that’s why we love it and that’s why they’re such wonderful players.