Nick Easter headed to the England duty after helping Quins win in their last match. There they will play London Wasps, one of their oldest rivals whom they meet in the LV= Cup this Saturday in the unlikely surroundings of Abu Dhabi. Given that they have a win and a draw against Wasps in the Premiership this season, they will go into a home quarter-final with confidence, though the prize for the winner is a semi-final in either Brive or Munster.
But the No 8’s curiosity stems from a desire to discover which additional back-row forwards Martin Johnson, England’s manager, will add to his squad and whether he will lead the side against Wales in Cardiff on 4 February, the opening day of the Six Nations Championship.
Nick Easter scored a magnificent try but the bonus point eluded the weary Quins. They have always fancied themselves down at the Stoop, but they are now fortifying that with a bit of belief, which is not quite the same thing. At times they were very good here.
The first half was theirs, even if they ceded most of the possession and territory to Wasps. Quins defended resolutely in that first period, which, in many ways, was a very pleasing frolic, despite the cold and the heaviness of the pitch. And when they struck, which they did three times, it was decisive.
They had four visits to the Wasps 22, all of them, extraordinarily, in the first half, and they scored three tries. Joe Marler crashed over for the first, finishing a Harlequins counter-attack after Tom Varndell had flicked a hopeful ball inside, symptomatic of the carelessness and dullness of wit that was to plague the visitors throughout.