Match Reports

Harlequins win Premiership after epic win over Exeter

Saturday, 26th June 2021 @ 17:30

Harlequins were crowned Premiership champions for the second time after beating Exeter Chiefs 40-38 in one of the greatest Twickenham finals.

In an epic tussle which left plaudits drooling over the attacking feast on display, it needed a late double by Louis Lynagh to decide a dazzling final.

Harlequins, roared on by vocal support that outnumbered their Exeter counterparts, showed their intentions with the returning Andre Esterhuizen and James Chisholm completing bruising carries.

Harlequins drew first blood on five minutes when they were awarded a penalty try following a powerful push from the line-out.

Alex Dombrandt
Jonny Hill was subsequently shown a yellow card but Harlequins struggled to make the numerical advantage count as Exeter battled back.

Despite Jack Kenningham's heroic defence, Exeter's pressure told as Gray barged over.

More Exeter pressure lead to the Chiefs taking the lead as Alec Hepburn pushed over despite the illegal attempts of Smith who was then sent to the bin.

Despite being a man down Harlequins flipped the half on its head with a bout of pressure which would be rewarded with a half-time lead.

After Esterhuizen and Chisholm knocked on the door, Wilco Louw burst through it, twisting his way over helped by Matt Symons' barge.

Tyrone Green
Joe Marchant's conversion hit the post but Harlequins powered back and, having opted for a line-out rather than three points, were rewarded when the returning Smith passed inside to Alex Dombrandt to run through.

The second half started as the first ended with Harlequins on the front foot to extend their lead to 26-14.

After clever play from Smith and Cadan Murley, Esterhuizen charged down the line and after being tackled, recovered to take a pass from Marchant to touch down.

Back came Exeter through the excellent Sam Simmonds who rode a big hit before accelerating over the line. Joe Simmonds converted.

Wilco Louw
Exeter then retook the lead when Ollie Devoto scored but Harlequins responded to set up a classic finale.

Smith, who grew as the match went on, goose-stepped and passed to Lynagh who dived into the corner. Smith's precision kick from the touchline gave Harlequins a two-point lead.

The same pair were involved five minutes later, as was Tyrone Green who sent Lynagh into the corner once more.

Smith nailed an identical conversion which opened up a seemingly unassailable nine-point lead with four minutes left.

Back came Exeter who threatened to ruin the party when Hogg coasted in and Simmonds converted.

But Harlequins were not to be denied amid wild celebrations of a second Premiership title.