Shut down

Harlequins’ Mike Brown (center) reacts after being sent off during the Gallagher Premiership game at Twickenham Stoop, London.

Duncan Bech

Mike Brown may have played his last game for Harlequins after being sent off for a remarkable 48-46 Gallagher Premiership win over Wasps that was only decided in the last game of the game .

England’s top full-back received a red card four minutes into the second half after stepping down and standing on the head of Tommy Taylor who was holding him on a jerk.

Referee Wayne Barnes checked Incident on the big screen at Twickenham Stoop and gave Brown his marching orders. At the beginning of the game, he was sent into sin for a deliberate push.

Any postage stamp involving the head is banned for at least six weeks, which indicates the likely end of his career at Harlequins as he moves to Newcastle next season.

There are only four rounds of the Premiership remaining and his only hope is that his team will reach the play-offs or that the disciplinary hearing will show indulgence by reducing his suspension.

It’s a big blow to a player who made his Quins debut 16 years ago and, until he was insane, was a full contributor to a roller coaster game that featured English fringe players Marcus Smith, Joe Marchant, Dan Robson and Paolo Odogwu before Eddie, Jones shone.

The home team made a manly recovery from the loss of Brown and, despite all odds, made the critical attempt when the man of the game, Smith, sprinted over the 80 minutes before adding the move himself.

Even the fourth-minute loss of Kieran Brookes to what appeared to be a significant injury failed to contain the Wasps’ early exuberance as they imposed themselves with a series of determined stretchers.

But against the course of the game, Quins showed in the 12th minute that Smith had to cross his ruthless series. Smith threw the ball on the right sideline, where Marchant gathered before winning a sprint for the line.

Wasps were immediately back on the offensive and made wonderful use of a defensive mistake by Danny Care when Robson pulled his opponent to send Josh Bassett.

Robson was at the heart of a dangerous wasp break, and when Quins tried to escape the stranglehold, they were flipped into their own 22 so that Tom could send Willis Odogwu through a gap and over the whitewash.

Brown was sinful to add to the misery at home, but it couldn’t affect her confidence, and they were next as the first half of the roller coaster went on.

Repeated broadcasts stretched the visiting defense and again it was Smith who pulled the trigger and fired a quick pass at James Lang who did a simple run-in.

A powerful Odogwu pause continued with Robson’s racing cross set the stage for Wasps to score their third attempt, with the scrum half showing strength to force its way.

The sixth attempt of the first half came just before it was over. Brown, Smith and Marchant combined excellently to allow Smith to hit the ground, and when the English prospect shot a penalty Quins led 24-22. Brown was sent off, forcing a double strike from Luke Northmore’s attempt to be repelled as well, and wasps looted the bonus point almost immediately when Malakai Fekitoa fell over.

When Thomas Young scored in a similar position, the balance shifted sharply towards last season’s runner-up – just for Care to keep Quins’ hopes alive.

Notably, the 2012 Master regained the lead through an attempt by Alex Dombrandt, who was converted from the touchline by Smith.

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Robson’s pinpoint cultivator from a scrum allowed Bassett to score his second goal, and when Jacob Umaga added the conversion and a penalty it seemed over.

But the last six minutes was the Smith Show when the English prospect shot a penalty, scored a try and then converted to break Wasp’s heart.




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