Tim Swiel kicked Harlequins to a hard-fought 15-7 victory over Newcastle Falcons at the Stoop.
Quins headed into the contest struggling for consistency following an indifferent run of results, while the Falcons were also desperate to build some momentum ahead of the New Year.
And it was the home side that was able to take the contest by the scruff of the neck in the second half to edge to victory.
With conditions heavy, try-scoring opportunities were difficult to come by for both sides, and it wasn’t until the stroke of half-time that either line was breached.
Alesana Tuilagi’s try for Newcastle was given the green light by the TMO, who ruled there wasn’t a knock-on in the build up, and Juan Pablo Socino was on target with the conversion.
The score came after Swiel had booted Quins in front early in the contest, but the hosts had failed to build on their lead during an attritional first half.
But indiscipline from the visitors after the break cost them an opportunity to overturn Quins’ lead and Swiel’s dead eye for goal saved the hosts’ blushes.
Swiel was on target four times in 12 minutes around the hour mark to take the contest away from the Falcons.
And though the visitors rallied in the closing quarter, the home defence held firm and Quins had enough in the tank to secure a victory at the start of an important period around Christmas and the New Year.
For Harlequins:Pen: Swiel 5
For Newcastle:Try: TuilagiCon: Socino
Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 George Lowe, 11 Aseli Tikoirotuma, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 James Chisholm, 7 Jack Clifford, 6 Joe Trayfoot, 5 George Robson (coffee), 4 Charlie Matthews, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Mark Lambert.
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Darryl Marfo, 18 Will Collier, 19 Sam Twomey, 20 George Merrick, 21 Danny Care, 22 Ross Chisholm, 23 Ugo Monye.
Newcastle: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Sinoti Sinoti, 13 Adam Powell, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Alex Tuilagi, 10 Tom Catterick, 9 Mike Blair, 8 All Hogg, 7 Will Welch (coffee), 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Dom Barrow, 4 Calum Green, 3 Scott Wilson, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Rob Vickers.
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Eric Fry, 18 Mark Irving, 19 Kane Thompson, 20 Josh Furno, 21 Ruki Tipuna, 22 Andy Tuilagi, 23 Noah Cato.
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant Referees: Ross Campbell, Gareth Copsey
TMO: David Grashoff