Harlequins miss the chance to go back to the top of the Aviva Premiership table as they were beaten 42-28 by Exeter Chiefs
Last Updated: 06/10/12 6:27pm
Reigning champions Harlequins missed the opportunity to return to the top of the table as they were convincingly beaten 42-28 by Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park on Saturday.
Centre Jason Shoemark scored two second-half tries to swing the match decisively in Exeter's favour as the Chiefs celebrated victory in what was their 50th Aviva Premiership contest.
It was recalled fly-half Gareth Steenson who got the scoreboard moving for the hosts in the third minute with a 25-metre penalty, but the Chiefs were then penalised at a scrum allowing Quins No.10 Nick Evans to get his side back on level terms.
Exeter crossed for the first try of the game on 12 minutes following a break from full-back Luke Arscott which, after several phases of play, saw centre Phil Dollman float a long pass to prop Brett Sturgess out on the touchline who ran round behind the posts.
Streenson added the extras and a penalty, but Evans kept Quins in touch with his second penalty and then charged down a clearance from his Exeter counterpart kick to score out wide.
Evans failed with the touchline conversion and when Steenson landed a third penalty the hosts led by five, however, England winger Ugo Monye went over for his fourth try of the season with Evans adding the conversion to give the visitors an 18-16 lead at the break.
Exeter made the perfect start to the second half with blindside flanker Ben White going over from close range to restore their lead and Steenson's conversion taking them further ahead.
Midway through the half, wing Matt Jess saw his pass intercepted by Quins replacement fly-half Rory Clegg who raced up to the Chiefs line, chased by Jess, before passing inside to allow scrum-half Karl Dickson to score - Clegg converting.
Exeter, sensing a possible upset, responded with two tries in three minutes through the impressive Shoemark to secure a try-scoring bonus point, with Steenson converting the second for a 10-point lead.
Clegg kicked a penalty to revive the visitors' hopes, but the Chiefs sealed the game with two minutes remaining as replacement Sireli Naqelevuki broke clear to cross for Exeter's fifth try with Steenson again adding the extras.