Premiership: Harlequins 21-32 Exeter Chiefs

Henry Slade
Henry Slade made his Premiership debut for Exeter in April 2013
Aviva Premiership
Harlequins (11) 21
Tries: Evans, Hopper Cons: Evans Pens: Evans 3
Exeter (16) 32
Tries: White, Slade Cons: Slade 2 Pens: Slade 6

Henry Slade scored 27 points as Exeter came from behind to beat Harlequins.

Nick Evans scored a penalty and a try to put the hosts in front while Chiefs had two players in the sin-bin, before Ben White replied with a try of his own as the visitors led 16-11 at half-time.

After the break Slade burst through to touch down and added his fourth and fifth penalties to extend the lead.

Matt Hopper reduced the deficit as he crossed in the corner but Slade slotted another penalty to secure the win.

Victory for Rob Baxter's men sees them move up into fourth in the Premiership table while Harlequins drop to ninth.

There was little sign of Exeter's dominance to come as ill-discipline saw them reduced to 13 men inside the opening quarter-hour.

Firstly Ian Whitten was penalised for a deliberate knock-on, which led to Evans' first penalty of the game, before Phil Dollman was sent to the sin-bin for tackling Marlon Yarde with his shoulder.

Moments later Quins, who welcomed back captain Nick Easter from England duty, made the two-man advantage count as the ball went across the line to Evans who found himself in space to cross the whitewash but could not add the extras.

Straight from the kick-off, Chiefs got on the scoresheet as Hopper was penalised for holding on and Slade slotted over the penalty.

Moments later they were in front against the run of play as Quins scrum-half Danny Care's kick was charged down by White, who chased it down to the try line and Slade duly converted to make it 10-8.

Henry Slade's international prowess
Slade has represented England Under-18s and Under-20s and made his debut for England Saxons against Barbarians in June 2014, kicking 15 points

After hitting the post with another penalty, Slade made amends from the tee to increase the lead to five points as Quins' Tom Casson was punished for coming in at the side before Evans slotted a penalty of his own following Jack Nowell's high tackle on Dave Ward.

With the visitors beginning to dominate, Dollman's try was ruled out for a forward pass but Slade made sure they went in ahead at the break by slotting over his third penalty following an infringement in the scrum.

Early in the second half the Premiership's leading try-scorer, Thomas Waldrom, was denied his 11th of the season for a clear forward pass, but five minutes later Slade ghosted through the home defence to score one of his own which he converted to extend the lead to 12 points.

Evans added another three points from the tee before Slade kicked two penalties in quick succession to put Chiefs 29-14 ahead.

Hopper gave Quins some hope with a try following some severe pressure in front of their opponents' goal-line, which Evans converted, but moments later Slade made it six penalties from seven to all but seal the victory.

Waldrom became the third Exeter player to see yellow late on for killing the ball, but it did not matter as Chiefs ran the clock down to pick up their ninth win of the season.

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea: "There's no hiding place.

"You can't fault the effort. I think the confidence isn't there because we've had a few blows along the way.

"It's not where we want to be as a club, but I wouldn't ever question the players after seeing what they did out there today in terms of reaction and what they're about."

Exeter head coach Rob Baxter: "That's a lad [Henry Slade] who has been away training with England all week.

"He did a few minutes of the team run with the team yesterday and performed like he did today.

"If that's not a great test of character then what better one could he have had today? He knew he was going to have limited time with us and he knew a big performance was possibly going to get him in the running to play for England.

"If that's a test of character, then he's certainly come through with flying colours. He was exceptionally good again today, so if Stuart [Lancaster] wanted to see him in a test. He's had one and he's done very, very well."

Harlequins: Monye; Yarde, Hopper, Casson, Walker; Evans, Care; Lambert, Ward, Sinckler, Matthews, Robson, Clifford, Wallace, Easter (capt).

Replacements: Buchanan, Marfo, Shields, Talei, Trayfoot, Dickson, Botica, Lindsay-Hague.

Exeter: Dollman; Whitten, Nowell, Hill, Jess; Slade, Chudley; Moon, Cowan-Dickie, Francis, Mumm (capt), Welch, Ewers, White, Waldrom.

Replacements: Yeandle, Rimmer, Brown, Lees, Johnson, Lewis, Steenson, McGuigan.

Att: 14,500

Ref: Matthew Carley (RFU).

Top Stories