Comeback kings Harlequins booked their place within the Premiership play-offs after one other spectacular turnaround noticed them beat Gloucester 28-24 at Twickenham.
The Premiership champions, famend for turning seemingly misplaced causes into victories, did it once more as they worn out a 17-point interval deficit.
England centre Joe Marchant scored two second-half tries earlier than wing Cadan Murley’s 69th-minute landing accomplished the restoration mission.
Marcus Smith kicked all 4 conversions, together with the extras following Alex Dombrandt’s first-half attempt, to go away Gloucester crestfallen.
For the complete opening 40 minutes, Gloucester did their utmost to gatecrash Quins’ Massive Summer time Kick-Off in entrance of a 47,000 crowd.
The guests raced into a cushty interval lead after tries from spectacular quantity eight Ben Morgan, lock Freddie Clarke and centre Chris Harris, whereas Adam Hastings transformed all three scores and dropped a objective.
There appeared just one winner at that time, however Quins rattled up 21 unanswered second-half factors, leaving Gloucester with scant comfort of a shedding bonus.
The west nation membership stay fifth – stage on factors with Northampton – and in play-off rivalry forward of their remaining regular-season recreation towards Saracens on June 4, however they are going to see their journey to Twickenham as an enormous missed alternative.
Quins made their intentions clear after they gained a kickable penalty within the opening minute, however Smith opted for contact and an attacking lineout in pursuit of a attempt, earlier than Gloucester cleared.
The guests additionally confirmed loads of early endeavour, with Harris outstanding and wing Ollie Thorley twice given probabilities to run on the Harlequins defence.
And Gloucester struck first on the scoreboard, executing considered one of their trademark pushed lineouts to arrange an imposing attacking platform earlier than Morgan touched down, with Hastings changing.
But it surely took Quins simply 5 minutes to reply as centre Marchant’s surging run was solely halted by a Louis Rees-Zammit deal with, but shortly recycled possession created house for Dombrandt to cross from shut vary, and Smith transformed.
A quick and livid opening quarter nonetheless had another scoring act, although, and this time it was Gloucester’s creativity that left Quins reeling.
Full-back Santiago Carreras weaved his method clear after which delivered an outstanding inside go to Clarke, who sprinted 30 metres, disregarding Louis Lynagh’s tried deal with after which celebrating with a Chris Ashton-style dive.
Hastings’ conversion made it 14-7, but regardless of Quins’ deficit, they refused to be shackled and full-back Huw Jones’ invention deserved greater than a Lynagh knock-on.
Gloucester then confirmed their opponents the way it ought to be accomplished, dealing with brilliantly earlier than skipper Lewis Ludlow bought behind the house defence and delivered a scoring go to Harris.
Hastings transformed after which landed a drop-goal six minutes earlier than the break, opening up a 17-point benefit, and Quins’ distress was underlined by Dombrandt spilling possession deep inside Gloucester’s 22.
Harlequins wanted a speedy response within the second interval they usually threated after Morgan limped off, however an error allowed a Gloucester counter-attack that was solely thwarted by Marchant’s deal with on Thorley.
Marchant introduced Quins again into the competition, gathering scrum-half Danny Care’s intelligent kick and claiming a attempt transformed by Smith that arrange an enthralling remaining half-hour.
Marchant then struck once more getting into the ultimate quarter, with Smith’s conversion closing the hole to only three factors and asking severe questions of Gloucester, particularly after Rees-Zammit was yellow-carded following a deliberate knock-on.
Quins have been now effectively and actually within the temper, they usually went forward for the primary time when the away facet ran out of defensive numbers and Murley crossed unopposed, with Smith once more changing.