As ever in recent times, Quins got off to the races in lightning-quick fashion.
Stationed deep in Newcastle territory with a scrum off the back of a Falcons penalty, Academy openside Jack Kenningham claimed the first score of the day from a clean strike move, dotting down for his third ever Quins try in his breakthrough season. Smith converted to give his side another perfect start to a sunny South West London afternoon.
Both sides exchanged scores for the following 20 minutes, with Newcastle claiming two tries for hooker George McGuigan that were separated by a 15th minute try for Danny Care, with the fan favourite Danny Care slicing through the Newcastle defence from another set-piece scrum move within the Falcons’ half.
With Falcons fly-half Connon missing his second conversion attempt, Quins held a four-point advantage at the end of the first quarter.
After a period of Newcastle possession inside Quins territory, loosehead prop Joe Marler snaffled a loose ball from the back of a Falcons lineout, with the ball soon spread wide to wing Aaron Morris. Classic interplay from the ball-playing backline would combine to see Care cross for his second of the day under the Newcastle posts. Smith converted again to extend Harlequins’ lead to nine.
Harlequins tied up the bonus-point on the stroke of half-time, with South African fullback Tyrone Green darting over from short range after a quick tap penalty from Care less than five metres from the Newcastle line. Smith added his fourth successive kick before both sides headed to the sheds, with a bonus-point in the bag and a healthy 16-point lead.
Quins were also fastest out the gates in the second half, with wing Louis Lynagh claiming his first since returning from injury last weekend, and Quins’ fifth for the day.
Newcastle would pick up their third score of the day through wing Adam Radwan in the 57th min, reducing Quins’ buffer to 14 points.
However, that buffer would be restored just four minutes later via centre Joe Marchant, with the England man cutting a sharp line from the back of a Quins scrum deep inside the Newcastle 22 to take Quins to six tries for the day. Smith converted again to restore a 21-point lead and take his side to 40 points.
Not content with allowing the Quins parade to continue unopposed, Newcastle claimed their fourth try through reserve hooker Jamie Blamire, with fullback Joel Hodgson converting to hand his side a final points tally of 26.
Quins pressed their advantage in the final ten minutes, roaring into action with spectacular tries for reserve scrum-half Martin Landajo after the bounce of the Kenningham kick evading both Quins eight Dombrandt and the Falcons fullback. A final score of the day came with the clock in the red, with substitute hooker Joe Gray finishing off a score created by some stunning interplay between Lynagh and wing Aaron Morris before Landajo turned scorer to creator for the final pass to Gray.
A whopping 54-point tally saw Quins say farewell to their departing players in true style in the last home game of the season. A special farewell to the Club’s all-time appearance holder Mike Brown, who spoke well to the 4000 attending fans, teammates and staff.
The Club push on, with a semi-final at Ashton Gate next weekend against Bristol Bears with a trophy in contention in the Premiership final the following week. Come on you Quins!
Final score: Harlequins 54 – 26 Newcastle Falcons
Next match: Bristol Bears vs Harlequins, Gallagher Premiership semi-finals. Saturday, June 19. 13:30 kick-off.