NEC Harlequins produced their best performance of the season to date to thrash Exeter by 70-5 at the Stoop. In front of a crowd of just over 9,000, the home side attacked the visitors straight from the kick-off and ended up scoring 12 tries in total, with Ugo Monye adding five to his tally for the season. Such was Quins dominance in the game that they secured a try scoring bonus point before half-time.
The hosts opened their account with just five minutes on the clock, with Jim Evans claiming the first try after taking a scoring pass from Andrew Mehrtens. Ten minutes later and Monye doubled Quins lead by diving over in the left hand corner, with Mehrtens again providing the final pass to the move.
Two minutes before the end of the first quarter and Exeter found themselves more than two scores behind. After winning a lineout deep in the Exeter twenty-two, the forwards drove towards the line and with play recycled through a number of phases, Tani Fuga eventually thundered his way over for the five points.
Quins continued to dominate but had to wait until first half injury time to claim the bonus point try. The forwards again took play deep into Exeter territory, allowing Nick Easter to touchdown from close range and put Quins into a 20-point lead.
There was still time before the interval for Gavin Duffy to get on the score-sheet. A flowing move from the backs saw the full back exchange passes with Simon Keogh, giving him a run-in under the posts. Mehrtens only successful conversion of the half gave Quins a 27-0 lead at the break.
No sooner had the game restarted and Quins were once again adding to their tally, with Monye scoring his second try following some fine build-up play involving backs and forwards. Six minutes into the half and it was Luke Sherriff's turn to touchdown; the flanker bursting through a weak defence from a lineout on the Exeter twenty-two. A second conversion from Mehrtens stretched Quins lead to 39-points.
Monye then recorded his hat-trick and just before the start of the final quarter Keogh scored try number nine. The winger gathered Mehrtens cross-field kick just before the ball went over the dead ball line and took Quins over the 50-point mark (51-0). Straight from the restart and an excellent break from Duffy resulted in Masson racing over for a further five points, with Mehrtens adding the two on offer from the conversion.
An excellent try saving tackle from Adrian Jarvis on flanker Tony Walker prevented Exeter from opening their account and six minutes from the end Monye was given an unopposed run-in having been put clear by Masson. An identical move followed just two minutes later, the only difference being that Brown gave Monye the scoring pass.
The final play of the game saw centre Mark Fatialofa finish off a rare sustained period of pressure from the visitors, with the final whistle following straight after fly half Tony Yapp missed the conversion.
During week commencing 22nd April Harlequins will launch an innovative, new Membership Scheme which will replace the existing Season Ticket Holder Programme. Further details of the scheme will be announced in due course.