A brace from Joe Marchant alongside an Alex Dombrandt try was enough to give Harlequins a 21-0 lead at the interval. Despite Sale showing some late resistance, Quins ran out deserved winners.
In a game that pitted 3rd place Sharks up against 4th place Quins. The home side were led out onto the field by centre Marchant who was making his 100th appearance in a Quins shirt.
With Harlequins kicking into a stiff breeze in the opening half it was the visitors who started the brighter of the sides in an attractional affair which livened up in the 26th minute when Harlequins got their first points on the board following a Will Evans turnover with Dombrandt offloading to Mike Brown to feed Marchant to run in and cross in the corner. Marcus Smith added the extras to give the hosts first blood.
Two minutes later Marchant was on hand once again to dot down after a chip from Aaron Morris deceived Marland Yarde with the centre grabbing his second try of the afternoon.
With half time rapidly approaching Marcus Smith threw a dummy that completely fooled the Sale back line. The Fly-half had Dombrandt outsider him who powered over. Smith added the extras to Give Quins a 21-0 lead at the break.
To compound Sale’s misery Jean Luc du Preez saw yellow for a dangerous tackle to the shoulder following a clear out. It looked like referee Ian Tempest may have been earing on the side of showing a red card, but after consultation from the TMO produced just the colour of yellow.
Alex Sanderson would have been looking for a big response from Sharks in the second half, but it was the hosts who added to their half time lead through a Smith penalty.
It took Sale 63 minutes to get their first points on the board. Following a pick and go Curtis Langdon went over under the posts. The visitors then added another try when Rob du Preez crashed over from short range. Despite the conversion missed the next points in the game were going to be crucial with ten minutes remaining.
With Sale pressing for the chance to pick up a losing bonus point, Sharks knocked on trying to play the ball wide. With the last play of the game and Quins looking for the try bonus point Smith kicked for touch, but Sale stole the line out, only for the visitors to lose the ball.
Harlequins thought they may have scored their all important fourth try, only to be denied by the TMO for a forward pass, with the last action of the game.
Harlequins 24 Sale Sharks 12
Gallagher Premiership Saturday 20th February 2021
Peter Moore at the Stoop