Harlequins’ miserable return to the Guinness Premiership continued apace as they suffered a heavy 42-23 defeat at the hands of their London rivals Wasps.
Dean Richards’ men have now lost their opening three games of the season following their promotion from National League One, and another relegation dog-fight is looking increasingly inevitable.
In contrast to Quins, Wasps are now the only side in the Premiership to have a 100%, and their latest bonus-point victory leaves them on top of the league table.
Wasps scored tries through Paul Sackey (2), Dan Leo, John Hart and prop Peter Bracken while Dave Walder added 15 points from the boot.
Quins, who had three men sin-binned in a lacklustre display, scored tries through Ugo Monye, Hal Luscombe and substitute Nick Easter, but with Leicester Tigers visiting the Twickenham Stoop next weekend, their prospects of a morale-boosting win are looking bleak.
Missing former All Black fly-half Andrew Mehrtens with a knee injury, Quins looked rudderless as they went down by five tries to three.
In a scrappy opening to the game fly-halves Walder and Adrian Jarvis both missed eminently kickable penalties before the Quins stand-off found his range to make it 3-0.
Wasps scored the opening try of the game in the 16th minute when second-row Simon Shaw secured possession at the line-out and set up a rumbling forward drive that resulted in a try for Leo.
Walder added the extras to make it 7-3 before the visitors struck back with a try of their own from Monye.
Wasps failed to claim the restart and the Quins forwards capitalised by working the ball out to the winger to score in the right corner.
Jarvis was unable to convert, and it did not take Wasps long to reclaim the lead when Walder knocked over his second penalty of the afternoon in the 26th minute, minutes before Quins lost flanker Andre Vos to the sin bin.
Hart scored the home side’s second try when he stretched over from close range following a sustained period of pressure from the increasingly dominant Wasps pack, in which Shaw was outstanding.
Walder’s conversion made it 17-8 after 32 minutes, and the two fly-halves exchanged further penalties before the break as the sides went in with Wasps deservedly leading by nine points.
Quins’ cause was further hampered in the 46th minute when they lost captain Paul Volley to the sin bin, and Wasps took full advantage when Sackey stepped inside the visitors’ defence to go in under the posts. Walder’s conversion made the game safe at 30-11 with just over half an hour to play.
Luscombe became the third Quins player to go to the sin bin, also for killing the ball, as Wasps continued to exert their control.
Sackey scored his second try of the day in the 66th minute before Easter scored an interception try in the 68th minute.
Bracken’s 75th minute-effort sealed the victory before Luscombe’s converted try, deep in injury time, added some gloss to the score line for Quins.