Premiership: Harlequins 17-41 Exeter Chiefs

Exeter players celebrate a try by Joe Simmonds
Exeter Chiefs have won their past nine matches in all competitions
Aviva Premiership
Harlequins (17) 17
Tries: Smith, Brown Cons: Smith 2 Pen: Smith
Exeter (24) 41
Tries: Ewers, Dennis 2, Simmonds, Hendrickson, Hepburn Cons: Simmonds 2, Steenson 2 Pen: Steenson

Premiership leaders Exeter Chiefs prepared for the play-offs with a bonus-point win at Harlequins.

Marcus Smith's converted try put Quins ahead but Exeter took control as Dave Ewers scored, Dave Dennis bagged a brace and Joe Simmonds crossed.

Tom Hendrickson and Alec Hepburn scored for Chiefs in the second half as John Kingston's final game in charge of Quins ended in disappointment.

Defeat meant Quins finished the campaign with five successive losses.

Exeter were forced into a late change after captain Don Armand failed a late fitness test, with Dennis taking his place and skippering the side.

The defending champions had already guaranteed a first-place finish in the Premiership, and the Devon side can now loom forward to a home semi-final against Newcastle on Saturday, 19 May (15:30 BST).

Last month Kingston announced he was leaving the Stoop after 17 years at Quins in various coaching roles.

Harlequins director of rugby John Kingston
John Kingston has been part of Harlequins' coaching staff since 2001, and became director of rugby in the summer of 2016

Quins director of rugby John Kingston:

"I'm glad that's out the way. I haven't got myself emotional. I'm settled and content believing that going is the right thing to do.

"The game was in the balance with 15 minutes to go, but they just had a bit more poke and were that bit bigger and stronger.

"The future for Harlequins is very positive - I believe the squad we have here is the strongest assembled in my 17 years at the club.

"But we've lost confidence somewhere along the line and dreamed up things that weren't right. As a consequence you start doubting everything you're doing."

Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter:

"We have a 10-day training window now to get ourselves ready for the biggest game of our season.

"Joe Simmonds is going very well. There will tough selection decisions between him and Gareth Steenson for the semi-final - the guy that has been there and done it against the guy who has got the shirt at the minute.

"Joe has been fantastic for a young guy who is relatively inexperienced and then Steenson came on and did well as well.

"We are blessed with a good combination."

Harlequins: Brown; Walker, Alofa, Lang, Visser; Smith, Care; Marler, Ward (capt), Sinckler, Merrick, Matthews, Robshaw, Wallace, Luamanu.

Replacements: Elia, Lambert, Swainston, South, White, Lewis, Cheeseman, Chisholm.

Exeter: Dollman; Cordero, Nowell, Hill, Woodburn; Simmonds, White; Moon, Cowan-Dickie, Francis, Lees, Hill, Ewers, Dennis (capt), Waldrom.

Replacements: Yeandle, Hepburn, Holmes, Skinner, Kvesic, Townsend, Steenson, Hendrickson.

Referee: Christophe Ridley.

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