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Aviva Premiership: Exeter Chiefs stun leaders Harlequins
Exeter completed an Aviva Premiership double over Harlequins with a 27-16 victory over the leaders and champions at the Twickenham Stoop.
The Chiefs needed a win to maintain their push for a Heineken Cup place and after a tense 60 minutes, they seized control with two tries in seven minutes.
Harlequins looked anything but a side with legitimate ambitions for an unprecedented treble as they disintegrated under pressure in the final quarter.
Quins appeared set to avenge October's defeat at Sandy Park as they raced ahead after just six minutes with a sublime try from Ugo Monye.
Quick lineout ball was swept out wide and with decoy runners seemingly everywhere, Monye arrived on a superb line to take a flat ball from Jordan Turner-Hall and charge over, with Nick Evans adding the extras.
But Exeter's gameplan was based around discipline and patience and they chipped away at the lead over the next 10 minutes, Gareth Steenson knocking over two penalties.
Evans missed a kick at goal from the touchline, before a charge up the middle by Jack Nowell earned the Chiefs a penalty for offside, which Steenson kicked.
Quins regained the lead when Alex Brown conceded a penalty as a scrum collapsed and this time Evans found the target, but when Ben Botica took over the kicking duties on the stroke of half-time, he missed a very kickable chance.
Two minutes into the second half Quins were penalised for hands in at a ruck and Steenson duly put the visitors ahead again at 12-10.
The game was turning into a kicking contest and two penalties from Botica followed, before Steenson kicked his fifth from five.
But just past the hour Exeter blew the game wide open. Steenson skipped and weaved his way through midfield and raced clear, only for Luke Arscott to knock on Matt Jess' pass 10 metres out with the line at his mercy.
It was only a temporary reprieve for Quins as three minutes later Steenson again broke through close to the line, before the ball was recycled and shippped out wide for Damian Welch to crash over.
Steenson's missed conversion was the only blip in a superb individual display from the fly-half and it made no difference as from a Quins drop-out, Arscott burst straight through the centre of a tired defence before diving gleefully over by the sticks to seal a deserved victory for Exeter.
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Aviva Premiership Table
|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com