Tim Visser scored a brace of tries as Harlequins beat Newcastle 46-25 for an important bonus-point win in the Premiership at Twickenham Stoop on Saturday.
With just one win in their last five, Quins came into this one disjointed and desperately in need of a positive result. Falcons were in even worse form, winless in five.
The visitors started the brighter and took the lead four minutes in thanks to a Mike Delany penalty. But that bright start was soon cut back by the hosts, who burst back out after that early setback.
Immediately from the restart, Visser stole possession and after racing down on the line, crashed over for the first try of the afternoon.
Ben Botica's first kick of the afternoon was good. Newcastle reduced the deficit to one through another Delany kick, but the high tempo start produced a second try for Quins.
After passing up a kick at the posts, a maul towards the line couldn't be stopped and the try was credited to Jack Clifford. Botica converted for the second time, with an early 14-6 lead established.
After Falcons found themselves pinned near their own try line, a line out eventually led to Joe Gray placing down for the third. Botica's conversion meant that Newcastle had a mountain to climb in the second half, 21-6 down.
Quins got their fourth try and in the process sealed a bonus point. Joe Marchant went over completely unchallenged to seemingly finish the game as a contest, with the conversion stretching the gap to 22 points.
Falcons reduced the deficit through their first try of the game five minutes later. Marcus Watson worked enough space to go inside the left corner and make things a little more interesting. And a game that looked like it was over was made all the more intriguing as Falcons went over a couple of minutes later. Nili Latu forced himself over from a yard and the conversion reduced the gap to 10 points.
From the brink of defeat, Falcons were putting together a truly remarkable comeback in the second 40 and a third try meant they found themselves only three points behind. A line out in the right corner saw a maul form, with Falcons overpowering and going over through Latu again, Delany converting. But the comeback stalled when Falcons lost a man. After a Botica penalty, Sean Robinson was sin-binned for 10 minutes for a foul and Botica kicked another three pointer through to put the lead back up to nine.
And after a heroic comeback, Visser went over again after collecting his own kick and sealed the points. Delany was shown a late yellow to compound the misery, with Marland Yarde having the final say with a try after the 80 minutes.
Tries: Visser 2, Clifford, Gray, Marchant, Yarde
Cons: Botica 5
Pens: Botica 2
Yellow Card: Merrick
Tries: Watson, Latu 2
Cons: Delany 2
Pens: Delany 2
Yellow Cards: Robinson, Delany
Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Danny Care (c), 8 Nick Easter, 7 Jack Clifford, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 James Horwill, 4 George Merrick, 3 Will Collier, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Sam Twomey, 20 Mat Luamanu, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Matt Hopper, 23 Ross Chisholm
Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Marcus Watson, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Michael Young, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Will Welch (c), 6 Nili Latu, 5 Calum Green, 4 Mark Wilson, 3 Taione Vea, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Rob Vickers
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Alex Rogers, 18 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 19 Sean Robinson, 20 Simon Hammersley, 21 Sonatane Takulua, 22 Craig Willis, 23 Belisario Agulla
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant Referees: Andy Watson, Kelvin Stewart
TMO: Rowan Kitt