Harlequins 33 Wasps 28: James Haskell red card opens the door for Quins to snatch dramatic win

James Chisholm celebrates the winner for Harlequins Credit: GETTY IMAGES

James Haskell could be in danger of missing the start of the Six Nations Championship after he was sent off for a dangerous tackle as Wasps succumbed to a remarkable collapse that has all but ended their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions Cup

Haskell, who was called up into England’s training camp in Brighton two weeks ago, was shown a red card in the 76th minute for making contact with his shoulder to the head of Harlequins centre Jamie Roberts, opening the door for Harlequins to snatch a dramatic victory with an injury-time try by James Chisholm.

Dai Young, the Wasps director of rugby, conceded that Haskell is likely to receive a ban for the red card but refused to blame his flanker for the defeat, claiming his side should have won the game three times before the incident.

World Rugby guidelines state that the entry point for suspensions for dangerous tackles to the head is six weeks, although Young insisted it was likely to be less than that as he claimed there had been no malice in Haskell’s collision. England open their Six Nations campaign against Italy in Rome on Feb 4.

“I'm not doing an Arsene Wenger, I haven't had time to really look at it, but if it's a shoulder to the face or head he will get banned,” said Young. “You can't hide away from that.

 “Unfortunately he might get a couple of weeks, but hopefully it's not too long. But there was certainly no intent, he just tried to get off the line to shut the pass down and there wasn't much wrong with the timing.

“It's where the shoulder makes contact and that will determine whether he gets banned or for how long.”

Haskell took to social media to apologise for the tackle. “What’s done is done, but just want to publicly apologise to @Jamiehuwroberts” he said on Twitter.

James Haskell is sent off for a dangerous tackle on Jamie Roberts Credit: Henry Browne/Getty Images

“Never my intention to hurt another player. Got my height wrong, paid the price, which happens. You know me, never one to do anything subtly. Credit to @Harlequins and apologies to @WaspsRugby fans.”

John Kingston, the Harlequins director of rugby, said that Roberts had been talking in the changing room after the match having gone off for a head injury assessment, but the victory may have come at a greater price, with England full-back Mike Brown sent to hospital for a scan last night after complaining of blurred vision.

“Browny’s gone for a precautionary, he’s got a bang on the eye so he was reporting slight blurred vision so we just wanted to make sure he’s alright with that,” said Kingston. “He’s gone to get a check-up.”

Harlequins No 8 Renaldo Bothma was also taken to hospital after suffering a suspected broken arm.

The collective damage of the defeat to Wasps’s season is likely to equally as painful.

Young’s side had looked on course to set up a potential winner-takes-all encounter against Ulster at the Ricoh Arena next Sunday when they raced into a 21-point lead in the first half with tries by Kyle Eastmond, Nizaam Carr – while Lewis Boyce was in the sin bin - and Ashley Johnson.

Quins struck back with tries by Ross Chisholm and the excellent James Lang but they looked only consolation scores when Brendan Macken powered over for Wasps’s fourth try early in the second half.

The introduction of Marcus Smith, the 18 year-old fly-half for Quins, sparked a sensational revival and tries by Danny Care, Elia and then the decisive touchdown by Chisholm left Wasps stunned.

Marcus Smith watches on as the two sides scrum Credit: Henry Browne/Getty Images

Young’s side, who at least picked up two match points, now trail Ulster, who defeated La Rochelle at Ravenhill yesterday afternoon (SAT) by five points and must beat the Irish province with a bonus point to have any chance to reaching the knock-out stages.

Young however conceded that his side’s hopes of qualifying were effectively over.

“I think it's over for us now,” Young added. “I said we had to win both of these last two games and probably needed nine points. Two points here isn't enough.

“We'll want to win against Ulster and if a miracle happens then happy days, but miracles don't tend to happen too much in Coventry.

“We got what we deserved. Five or six guys showed a real lack of appetite to defend. Teams are scoring points against us far too easily.

“Fair play to Quins, they showed a real hunger and desire in the last five minutes, but we should have been out of sight by then. We found a way to lose it.”

James Chisholm celebrates the winning try Credit: Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Had Danny Cipriani landed a relatively simple penalty, moments before Haskell was shown red, Wasps may still have found a way to win despite performance that lacked the defensive robustness and commitment to deliver the fatal blow to a Harlequins side that refused to accept defeat.

Harlequins had seen their hopes of reaching the knock-out stages snuffed out by back-to-back defeats by Ulster in December and, despite the late withdrawal of England flanker Chris Robshaw with a minor knock, were determined not to make an easy passage for their Premiership opponents.

“We got what we deserved,” Young added. “We probably won that game three times and let them back in there really. We made some really poor errors which gave them some momentum and we were just not good enough in defence.

“We showed some quality but not enough fight and fair play to Quins, I think they showed more fight on the day and wanted it a bit more than us at the end. It really hurts me to say that but I honestly believe it.

“I think it is over. We had to win two games. We won’t change our mindset and will want to win but we are hugely disappointed and we have only got ourselves to blame.

“We were in a position to win the game, and comfortably, but didn’t show enough desire in defence.”

Match details

Scores: 0-5 Eastmond try; 0-7 Cipriani con; 0-12 Carr try; 0-14 Cipriani con; 0-19 Johnson try; 0-21 Cipriani con; 5-21 Chisholm try; 10-21 Lang try; 12-21 Lang con; 12-26 Macken try; 12-28 Cipriani con; 17-28 Care try; 19-28 Smith con; 24-28 Elia try; 26-28 Smith con; 31-28 Chisholm try; 33-28 Smith con.

Harlequins: M Brown, C Walker, A Alofa, J Roberts, T Visser, J Lang, D Care, L Boyce, D Ward, K Sinckler, B Merrick, J Glynn, J Chisholm, A White, R Bothma. 

Replacements: E Elia, M Lambert, P Swainston, C Matthews, M Luamanu, D Lewis, M Smith, R Chisholm. 

Wasps: W le Roux, C Wade, B Macken, K Eastmond, M Watson, D Cipriani, D Robson, S McIntyre, A Johnson, J Cooper-Woolley, J Launchbury, J Gaskell, J Haskell, T Young, N Carr. 

Replacements: T Cruse, B Harris, M Moore, K Myall, G Thompson, J Simpson, R Miller, G Armitage. 

Referee: Romain Poite (France) 

FULL-TIME: Harlequins 33-28 Wasps

Remarkable stuff. Wasps were up comfortably and thinking about Ulster before the final quarter. That will do everything for Quins' confidence after a tough run. Marcus Smith was dynamite once he came on as James Chisholm goes over the winner.

Wasps now need five points next week to try and get a runners-up spot, but this will be a gutting defeat having been clearly in control.

Talk about a fixture exceeding expectations. Big win for Harlequins.

TRY J CHISHOLM! CONVERSION SMITH! Harlequins 33-28 Wasps

It's there! What a comeback! 12-28 to 31-28 as Quins pull off the miracle. J Chisholm crashes over after a 13-phase attack. Conversion from Smith, what an incredible turnaround!

78 mins - Harlequins 26-28 Wasps

15 vs 14 then with Wasps clinging on! Quins believing.

RED CARD HASKELL!

It's red! High contact to the head, completely outlawed these days, and Haskell is walking. Roberts still down getting treatment.

75 mins - Harlequins 26-28 Wasps

Cipriani's penalty slides to the left! Minute wasted off the clock though. Armitage then turned over in the tackle. Lang impressive in space! He combines with Visser and Care getting Quins all the way up to the Wasps 22.

Knocked on but the crowd aren't happy with Haskell, looked like a no-arms shot on Roberts who needs treatment.

Credit: BT SPORT

73 mins - Harlequins 26-28 Wasps

Wasps rallying, huge carry from Moore the replacement tighthead. Top offload as well. Pass then flies into touch but Wasps have a penalty.

Cipriani will take a shot.

TRY ELIA! CONVERSION SMITH! Harlequins 26-28 Wasps

Quins on the comeback! Set play off the lineout pulls Wasps from left to right. Back they come the other way and Smith's skip pass finds Elia in space, the hooker with a phenomenal step to beat Le Roux and score!

Bonus-point try for Quins. Game on!

Credit: GETTY IMAGES

68 mins - Harlequins 19-28 Wasps

Quins with the tails up, three tries now on the day. Lambert on for Boyce at loosehead. Smith angles a kick to the Wasps 22 before Watson clears... straight into touch! That was poor. Quins lineout on the Wasps 22-metre line.

TRY CARE! CONVERSION SMITH! Harlequins 19-28 Wasps

Not clean ball for Care as Simpson applies the pressure, on for Robson. Quins rumbling. Smith with a dart, two metres short. Matthews stopped. Care burrows and gets it!

Credit: BT SPORT

Harlequins try review

Long replays to see if Quins are over but the camera can't pick anything up, Poite the closest to the pile. Officials can't see so that's no try. Five-metre scrum to Quins.

61 mins - Harlequins 12-28 Wasps

Elia on for Ward. Smith also on for Lang. Bothma in some bother holding that arm, hopefully not the one he broke earlier in the season. It was jammed into the turf making a tackle.

Credit: BT SPORT

58 mins - Harlequins 12-28 Wasps

Quins searching for a reply, J Chisholm and Sinckler crashing up. Quins into the Wasps 22. Boyce just short! Care kicks wide, Visser unable to finish but Quins have a penalty. Shrill blast, Bothma down for some treatment.

TRY MACKEN! CONVERSION CIPRIANI! Harlequins 12-28 Wasps

Armitage on for Eastmond. That's nice from Cipriani, the short pop pass sending Macken over after Young mopped up the lineout. Macken one-on-one with Roberts found the outside shoulder. Bonus point for Wasps!

Credit: GETTY IMAGES

54 mins - Harlequins 12-21 Wasps

Quins coughing the pill up all too easily, first Care and then Chisholm. Cipriani punishes them by pushing Quins back into their 22.

52 mins - Harlequins 12-21 Wasps

Good carries from Launchbury and Gaskell, the Wasps engine room working away. All a bit scrappy as Quins get a scrum. Le Roux down for treatment but he's back up on his feet.

50 mins - Harlequins 12-21 Wasps

Penalty Quins from the resulting scrum. They needed that. Hosts desperate to get some territory back.

48 mins - Harlequins 12-21 Wasps

Wasps penalty and that's a monster touchfinder by Cipriani, gaining huge ground into the Quins 22. Wasps get the maul going but it's sacked illegally. Back to the corner... not straight! Three today for Johnson.

46 mins - Harlequins 12-21 Wasps

Lang goes for a big touchfinder... and misses. Wasps coming straight back but Harlequins get a lineout to ease the pressure.

Credit: GETTY IMAGES

44 mins - Harlequins 12-21 Wasps

Wasps certainly with the better start, Cooper-Woolley on the charge, the big prop hitting the Quins 22. Attack now up to ten phases.

Good hit by Roberts on Le Roux isolates the full-back and Quins get a holding on penalty. Hosts' defence stood firm there.

42 mins - Harlequins 12-21 Wasps

Wade with a chip and chase but Chisholm, who is also rapid, does well to beat the chase and kick to touch.

Second half underway

Solid recovery at the restart from Quins who then clear through Care to halfway and into touch.

HALF-TIME: Harlequins 12-21 Wasps

Entertaining half after the early nerves, Wasps racing into a commanding 21-0 lead thanks to that Nizaam Carr special score between tries by Kyle Eastmond and Ashley Johnson.

Quins to their credit though have hit back well, James Lang, in today for Marcus Smith, setting up that Ross Chisholm score and then powering over at the end of the half. Interesting first few minutes coming up at the start of the second half.

TRY AND CONVERSION LANG! Harlequins 12-21 Wasps

Quins in for a second! Care with the drifting run, Roberts on the short dummy line and Lang is able to step infield to score under the posts. Easy conversion and Quins cut the gap to nine point at the break.

40 mins - Harlequins 5-21 Wasps

Here we go then. Pack trying to get the drive on. Penalty coming and given, another scrum.

Credit: BT SPORT

37 mins - Harlequins 5-21 Wasps

Wade knock-on chasing the restart gives Quins a scrum. High kick won by Visser on halfway, good work. Now Care breaks into the 22! Lang stepping and weaving, brushing off Haskell. Quins motoring.

Sincker's offload kicked clear but Quins get a five-metre scrum under the Wasps posts.

TRY CHISHOLM! Harlequins 5-21 Wasps

Lang's attempted kick ricochets straight back into his hands. Quins still fighting, up to the Wasps 22. Nice bump from Bothma before Cipriani intercepts and clears. Lang does well on the scramble and kicks ahead, Chisholm leading the chase and doing enough to score!

Excellent work from Lang there and Chisholm's pace did the rest, regathered just short of the line but not held in the tackle before driving the extra few metres to the line. Lang can't convert.

TRY JOHNSON! CONVERSION CIPRIANI! Harlequins 0-21 Wasps

Clinical. Catch and drive from Wasps and the pack get over for a five-pointer, Johnson at the bottom. Well set maul that Quins couldn't stop. Wasps are flying.

Credit: PA

30 mins - Harlequins 0-14 Wasps

Care penalised for an attempted interception with Wasps breaking forward on the counter. Cipriani nudges into the corner.

28 mins - Harlequins 0-14 Wasps

Lineout not straight! I make that four combined for both sides thus far. Marginal but consistent by Poite. Carr of all people with the clearance kick off the back of the scrum, makes about 30 metres.

26 mins - Harlequins 0-14 Wasps

Bothma getting some treatment, Quins can't afford to lose him. Long attack for Quins around the Wasps 22. Little chip doesn't come off for Care to Glynn but Quins have a penalty, Johnson off his feet at the ruck. Lang goes to the corner. Boyce back from the bin.

24 mins - Harlequins 0-14 Wasps

So close for Quins in the corner with number but there's a small knock-on to rule out a score for Chisholm. Had to finish that off.

22 mins - Harlequins 0-14 Wasps

After a slow start then Wasps are flying. Lambert on for a scrum with Boyce still in the bin and he helps Quins get a scrum penalty. Lang to touch at the Wasps 22.

TRY CARR! CONVERSION CIPRIANI! Harlequins 0-14 Wasps

Quins' turn to try and respond. Care almost setting Lang free. Knocked on and Le Roux counters, and here come Wasps, Carr with astonishing pace! He goes all the way from 60 metres out. What a short-term signing he's been.

TRY EASTMOND! CONVERSION CIPRIANI! Harlequins 0-7 Wasps

Steady attack now from Wasps, 15 vs 14. Pulled back by McIntyre, then by Cipriani to create the space and Eastmond glides over! Superbly worked try.

Le Roux's pass getting checked by Romain Poite... is that clear and obviously forward? This angle suggests it is forward but the try stands!

Credit: BT SPORT

YELLOW CARD BOYCE (QUINS)!

Quins loosehead Boyce (to the right of the shot below) gets a yellow card for a tackle on the man without the ball. Wasps go to the corner.

Credit: BT SPORT

15 mins - Harlequins 0-0 Wasps

Quins pinged for a tackle in the air as Cipriani drills the kick into the 22. Lineout then stolen! Both sides struggling for any momentum. Care kicks to touch.

13 mins - Harlequins 0-0 Wasps

Bothma very busy. Quins have been excited about unleashing him all season long. Wasps though force a turnover and Robson sends a good kick upfield into touch.

11 mins - Harlequins 0-0 Wasps

Scrum rock solid. Roberts crashes up and he then gets penalised for not releasing. That was disappointing. Good tackle though involving Cipriani. Resulting lineout from Wasps is then not straight.

9 mins - Harlequins 0-0 Wasps

Care trying to catch out Wade with a deep kick but the wing is ready for it and clears. Watson then drops the replying kick to give Quins an attacking scrum.

7 mins - Harlequins 0-0 Wasps

Walker's evening is over, big shame. Chisholm onto the wing. Wasps turn for a scrum and they then get a free-kick, early shove from Boyce (playing today in place of the banned Marler).

Credit: BT SPORT

Backs move gets Wade sprinting into the 22. Promising this for Wasps. Penalty Quins though! Launchbury in from the side and Lang can clear.

5 mins - Harlequins 0-0 Wasps

Better from Wasps, good dummy runners and cutout passes giving Wade a little room. Short grubber from Cipriani covered by Brown. Care clears high, Le Roux under it. Kick chase however earns Quins a scrum.

2 mins - Harlequins 0-0 Wasps

Grubber from Roberts easily fielded by Le Roux. Lots of territory kicking currently as Brown goes deep... too deep. Wasps with the 22 dropout. Bit of concern for Walker after making a tackle on Watson, expect he had the wind knocked out of him.

Credit: BT SPORT

Kick-off

Deep from Lang, the Quins ten in today for Smith. Robson clears to touch to give the hosts a lineout.

Here come the teams

Wade getting a nice word from Quins captain Dave Ward before the teams take the field. Great achievement.

Credit: BT SPORT

Big day for Wade

He will lead Wasps out on his 150th club appearance. 92 tries in that time by the way. Unreal.

Care vs Robson

The Wasps nine is red hot at the moment, although whether that would be enough to shift either of Eddie Jones' established options at nine in Ben Youngs and Danny Care remains to be seen. Here's how Care and Robson measure up in the Champions Cup this season.

Credit: BT SPORT

Cipriani starts for Wasps, but for how long?

Wasps have also been busy regarding fly-half contracts, even if the club are yet to announce the arrival of Lima Sopoaga from New Zealand. A quick guide to him here.

Danny Cipriani's contract is up at the end of the season but the 30 year-old has still been in excellent form.

Credit: GETTY IMAGES

No Marcus Smith...

But Harlequins are understandably delighted to sign him up to a new long-term deal until 2022. Here's why they sped up the deal this week via their director of rugby John Kingston.

“Although people are not entitled to sniff around, I have my ear to the ground and I am aware of people trying to induce and pull things. I am happy not to blow the whistle on them. But for me, the reality was that it was not helping Marcus and therefore I wanted to get it sorted and quickly resolved.”

Welcome

Good evening everybody and welcome along to what has suddenly become a must-win fixture for Wasps following Ulster's win earlier today over La Rochelle.

Here's the shape of Pool 1 as things stand before kick-off, with Wasps trailing Ulster now by seven points. The two sides meet next weekend at the Ricoh Arena for what already feels like a European classic.

Team news is as follows: there are five changes to the Harlequins starting XV that lost out by the narrowest of margins to Sale Sharks last weekend. Mike Brown returns as vice-captain while James Lang will make his European debut in place of Marcus Smith, who signed a long-term contract with the club this week. 

In the forwards Lewis Boyce and Renaldo Bothma come in, while Archie White is named at openside flanker as Chris Robshaw picked up a minor knock in training this week. 

Occupying either wing, Charlie Walker (five) and Tim Visser (four) will look to continue their fine form with the two wingers combining for nine tries since the start of December.

Meanwhile, Joe Launchbury, Kyle Eastmond and Simon McIntyre all return to Wasps’ starting line-up.

Club captain Launchbury has recovered from a heavy cold to partner James Gaskell in the engine room, while last week’s skipper Ashley Johnson joins McIntyre and Jake Cooper-Woolley in the front row.

England international Eastmond combines with Brendan Macken in the centre, while Guy Armitage who made a good impression from the bench against Saracens last week, retains the No.23 shirt.

Elsewhere, rugby director Dai Young has named unchanged back-row, half-back and back three combinations for a third consecutive week. This means Christian Wade makes his 150th appearance on the right wing, while James Haskell represents Wasps for a 50th time in Europe from the blindside flank.

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Charlie Walker, 13 Alofa Alofa, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tim Visser, 10 James Lang, 9 Danny Care; 1 Lewis Boyce, 2 Dave Ward (c), 3 Kyle Sinckler, 4 George Merrick, 5 Ben Glynn, 6 James Chisholm, 7 Archie White, 8 Renaldo Bothma
Replacements: 16 Elia Elia, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Mat Luamanu, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Marcus Smith, 23 Ross Chisholm

Wasps: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Marcus Watson, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dan Robson; 1 Simon McIntyre, 2 Ashley Johnson, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 4 Joe Launchbury (c), 5 James Gaskell, 6 James Haskell, 7 Thomas Young, 8 Nizaam Carr
Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse, 17 Ben Harris, 18 Marty Moore, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Guy Thompson, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Guy Armitage

Referee: Romain Poite (France)