And yet, just as they looked dead and buried, Quins rolled back the stone, with James Lang at the heart of their revival with some scintillating running and handling.
Lang also showed his composure under pressure after he stepped out of trouble after Cipriani had kicked an intercepted pass into the open-field, eluding a tackle by Le Roux before the Quins fly-half managed to kick the ball into space. Chisholm gathered superbly and reached to the line for the try. The score settled Quins and finally they began to string together a number of potent phases, with Mike Brown, Care and Roberts leading the way. It was a dummy run by Roberts than created the opportunity for Lang to turn from creator to finisher, scoring under the posts from a well-executed move from a five-metre scrum.
For the game to truly become a contest again, Quins had to maintain the momentum and critically they could not regain it until Wasps had scored again, with Cipriani’s deft touch to Macken clinching the four-try bonus point in the 56th minute.
Cipriani used both his eyes and his passing weight and direction to fool Jamie Roberts enough to allow Macken to hit a soft shoulder and score the try that could yet see Wasps reach the quarter-finals,
Harlequins had no intention of making life easy for their Premiership opponents however, and following the introduction of 18 year-old Marcus Smith, in the week that he has just signed a long-term contract with the club, sparked another mini revival.
Quins thought they had scored again when their forwards mauled their way over the line but referee Romain Poite could not see the grounding of the ball. Another strong forward platform provided the opportunity for Care to snipe over from close range.