Harlequins recorded their first victory over London Wasps since September 2003, thanks to a hard fought 26-25 win in the Guinness Premiership at the Twickenham Stoop. Chris Malone's conversion of a penalty try proved to be the match winning score, but two late penalty misses from the Quins fly half, followed by a drop goal miss from Wasps Dave Walder, meant the outcome wasn't settled until the final kick of the game.
The first 20 minutes saw a Quins side taking the game to Wasps. Just two minutes after kick-off, Malone's kick across pitch towards the right wing just failed to bounce right for David Strettle and give him the comeback from injury that he wanted.
Quins though had set the standard, and after just 5 minutes in to play, Centre Tosh Masson (who was making his first start of the season), got Quins' first points on the board with a neat chip through from Malone. Malone secured conversion and put Harlequins 7 points ahead.
Quins kept the pressure on and another cross field kick from Malone failed to reach Ugo Monye, this time on the left wing.
These first 10 minutes hardly saw Wasps getting out of their half, and Quins failed to fully capitalize, and a minute after Masson's try Wasps hit back. A moment's lack of concentration from Quins saw a spilled ball snatched by Ireland's World Cup scrum half Eoin Reddan. The Wasps' captain ran the ball from just inside his own half, and a 40 metre run saw him cross the line.
Quins could have added 3 more points when they were awarded a penalty after 18mins, but Malone's miss was punished after a 21 minute drop goal from fly half Riki Flutey.
23 minutes in, Quins were reduced to 14 men after a surprising yellow card was shown to scrum half Danny Care for illegally preventing his opposite number, Redden, from taking a quick tap penalty.
Wasps took advantage of their position and hit back. After claiming possession of the ball, Fraser Waters outran the Quins defence in a 40 metre sprint to score his first try. Cipriani sealed the conversion.
Malone secured a drop goal to take the score to 13-15, and Wasps ended the first half 2 points up.
Malone put Quins in front shortly after the restart with his second penalty, only for Waters to race in for his second touchdown to which Cipriani again added the extras two points.
A second yellow card was shown, this time to Wasps' captain Reddan, after taking an opponent off the ball and the advantage to Quins proved to be crucial.
Malone and Cipriani both secured 3 points from penalties and then with, 15 minutes remaining on the clock, Wasps' valiant effort to repel 4 dives over their try line, saw Quins getting the better of the Wasps' pack in a 5 metre scrum and the home side were rewarded a penalty try.
Malone's conversion from in front of the posts put Quins ahead by the narrowest of margins (26-25).
The Stoop saw a nailbiting last few minutes with Malone missing two penalty chances and Wasps' replacement Dave Walder seeing his long range drop goal attempt sail just wide of the posts, closely followed by the final whistle.
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.