Harlequins 33-28 Wasps: Quins comeback leaves Wasps on brink of Champions Cup exit
Last Updated: 14/01/18 11:00am
Wasps' European adventure appears all but over after James Chisholm scored in the last minute to complete a remarkable comeback from Harlequins as they won 33-28 in a Champions Cup thriller.
Wasps looked to be cruising as they led 21-0 and then 28-12 but Harlequins' fight back means they are on the brink of exiting the competition.
Dai Young's side trail Pool 1 leaders Ulster, who they face next week in the final round of pool matches, by five points, and they trail La Rochelle by four points.
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Ross Chisholm, James Lang, Danny Care, Elia Elia all went over for Harlequins before James Chisholm's late intervention, with Lang and Marcus Smith kicking the rest of the points.
Kyle Eastmond, Nizaam Carr, Ashley Johnson and Brendan Macken all crossed the whitewash for Wasps who will be wondering how they let this game slip.
Wasps went down to 14-men in the 76th minute when James Haskell was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle on Jamie Roberts. With the score 28-26, Quins used their extra man to run through the phases with Chisholm going over to secure the win.
Harlequins' interest in Europe was extinguished long ago - they had lost all four previous matches of this season's group phase - but a team weakened by injury and suspension fought to the end and were rewarded.
An uneventful first quarter came alive in the 17th minute when Wasps attacked from a line-out and drives from Haskell and Jake Cooper-Woolley sent Quins backwards before quick hands by Willie le Roux and Thomas Young set Kyle Eastmond accelerating over the whitewash.
Wasps struck for a second time three minutes later when Care, and the superb James Lang, spilled the ball and that set in motion a 60 metres counter-attack that saw Nizaam Carr cross for the visitors.
Both tries arrived with Quins' prop Lewis Boyce in the sin-bin for tackling Johnson without the ball, and it was the Wasps hooker who touched down for the third.
Quins took advantage of a broken field play to launch their response, Lang punting ahead for Ross Chisholm to win the footrace and score.
The match was now finely poised and when Care set-off from a five-metre scrum, delaying his pass for Lang to skip over and score, the home side had real grounds for optimism.
They had cause for doubt when Danny Cipriani sent Brendan Macken through a gap to seal the bonus point.
But Quins continued to build through a succession of short-range drives that ended with Care burrowing over.
All the momentum was with Harlequins and with replacement fly-half Marcus Smith orchestrating play brilliantly, they claimed their fourth try that started with Visser's break and finished when Smith sent Elia Elia over with a long floated pass.
Then Wasps' fate was sealed after Haskell saw red after a late challenge on Jamies Roberts and James Chisholm drove across the whitewash with seconds to spare to score the most improbable upset.