London Wasps claimed their third victory in a row over NEC Harlequins and condemned Quins to their third defeat in the space of eight days. Injury and unavailability depleted the team of five back row forwards, which proved to be crucial. The experience of Lawrence Dallaglio, Joe Worsley and Paul Volley (the Wasps back row) gave the visitors the edge.
Quins made a dream start after only three minutes. After Burke missed a penalty, backs and forwards combined to take play back to the Wasps twenty-two from the long drop out. Will Greenwood found a gap in midfield and crossed in the corner. A penalty from Matthew Leek put Wasps on the scoreboard and only a try saving tackle from Mark Mapletoft stopped Rob Henderson from adding to their tally.
On 10 minutes, Quins scored their second try. A dummy and break from Mapletoft gave Ben Gollings a one on one with full back Laurence Scrase. Gollings backed himself and beat Scrase to the corner for a wonderful try. Quins led 10-3, but it was to be their final score of the half.
Wasps began to take charge when Shane Roiser crossed for a try after 14 minutes. Leek missed the conversion but added a second penalty ten minutes later to give Wasps a one point lead. Straight from the re-start a break from Worsley set up Henderson, who beat the defence and raced in for a try from 30 meters out.
Quins found themselves thirteen points adrift at the break. On 37 minutes Bruce Starr was sin binned for not re-treating 10 meters and Wasp's extra man created space to give Worsley a clear run to the line. Leek's conversion made the score 10-23 at the half-way stage.
Despite being a man down, Quins hit back at the start of the second half. After six minutes, Gollings gathered Wood's perfectly placed chip over the defence. He out sprinted the defence again to score his second try. Gollings failed to convert after taking over the kicking duties from the injured Burke, but the deficit was down to eight points.
A try in the corner for Paul Sampson, following a catch and drive from the forwards, restored Wasps 13 point lead just a couple of minutes later. It dashed any hopes Quins had of staging a fightback.
The rest of the match provided little in terms of entertainment. Gollings and Leek traded penalties to keep the scoreboard ticking over but Wasps kept Quins out in the final stages to deny them a bonus point.
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.