It is a vital win and bonus point for Wasps, who is already out of the Powergen Cup – having been suspended after fielding an ineligible player – and having been knocked out of contention in the Heineken Cup after two consecutive defeats against Leicester.
Before the start of the match they trailed Leicester – who play Gloucester later in the day – by nine points.
It was a very eventful first half, in which Wasps looked to be in control for most of the time. Quins, who had very few opportunities early on, seemed to get into the game late in the first period.
But Wasps certainly wasted no time in getting a lead against the bottom-of-the-table Quins outfit.
They took the ball through 10 phases of play, before England hopeful, scrum-half Matt Dawson, darted over for the opening try of the match in the fourth minute. Mark van Gisbergen added the conversion for an early 7-0 lead.
For some time Wasps continued to look dangerous, before the home team managed to get their hands onto the ball and created a few opportunities. But Quins were unable to turn any of their opportunities into points.
In fact in the 30th minute it was Wasps who scored, when Van Gisbergen made it 10-0 with a penalty – the result of a scrum gone wrong for Quins. Captain André Vos furiously protested his team's innocence, but the referee was having none of it and the penalty stood.
A poor restart from the 22 gifted Sale their next score, when Josh Lewsey made nonsense of the Quins defence to score the next try. Van Gisbergen missed the conversion, but it was 15-0 after 38 minute.
Quins did finally get some points on the board, a 40th minute Jeremy Staunton penalty, after Lawrence Dallaglio was penalised for killing the ball on the ground – following a great little break by Staunton and Dallaglio coming in with a desperate cover tackle.
Wasps opened the second half with a dramatic try, from the restart, with a driving run from flanker Joe Worsley – who eventually off-loaded to Van Gisbergen for the third try. He added the conversion to make it 22-3 and Quins facing a mountain to climb to come back.
The visitors looked rampant as they came at Quins again, but a couple of mistakes saw some promising moves come to nothing.
Quins looked out of their depth and destined to be rooted at the bottom of the table, with nobody creating anything of note for the home side.
Wasps had several more scoring opportunities and continued to dominate proceedings, but they seemed to lose their focus at crucial stages.
One such move, which broke down just metres short of the Quins line, resulted in Quins scoring their first try of the match.
It was started by a neat little break from replacement Andy Reay – on for Staunton – and ended with speedster Simon Keogh slipping a tackle and going over for a wonderful breakout try in the 71st minute.
Reay couldn't add the conversion, but at 22-8 they were in with a shot … a long shot at that, but a chance at least.
They needed two converted tries, but Wasps shut the gate and the visitors ended the match with Mat Dawson scoring the bonus-point try in the 79th minute.
There was a consolation score for Quins by winger George Harder, but the game was long over as a contest.
For NEC Harlequins:Tries: Keogh, HarderCon: DunnePen: Staunton
For London Wasps:Tries: Dawson 2, Lewsey, Van GisbergenCons: Van Gisbergen 2Pens: Van Gisbergen