Exeter 43-42 Harlequins: Chiefs snatch last-minute victory amid TMO turbulence

Exeter 43-42 Harlequins: Chiefs grab last minute win amid TMO turbulence… as visitors left ‘frustrated’ match-winning try allowed to stand

  • Exeter secured victory through a late try by flanker Christ Tshiunza on Sunday
  • Harlequins felt there was a forward pass in the build-up to the final try
  • The incident was reviewed by the TMO who suggested it go ahead
  • The referee stood by his decision as the TMO did not get a proper view
  • Harlequins have confirmed that they will seek an explanation from the RFU

Frustrated Harlequins boss Tabai Matson will seek an explanation from the RFU about how Exeter were awarded their last-minute match-winner here.

Flanker Christ Tshiunza crossed in stoppage time to win a game for Chiefs they had already had in the bag before throwing it away.

A forward pass was suspected earlier in the run, from Stuart Hogg to prop Patrick Schickerling, but TMO Dean Richards couldn’t get a proper view.

Christ Tshiunza scored the match-winning try for Exeter against Harlequins on Sunday

Harlequins boss Tabai Matson believed there may have been a forward pass in the build-up to the try


Exeter – tries: Williams, Townsend, Tshiunza (2), Skinner, Schickerling.

Disadvantages: J Simmonds (4), Slade;

Pen: J Simmonds.

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Harlequins — Try: Murley (2), Green, Northmore (2), Marchant.

Disadvantages: Smith (6).

Richards said Schickerling had been ahead of Hogg, but it all ended with referee Ian Tempest standing by his original decision to award the try.

Quins had rebounded from 31-7 down at half-time to lead 42-38, with Marcus Smith coming out of his full box of tricks ahead of Eddie Jones.

But Smith’s effort came to nothing and Matson will check in with Twickenham to make sure they look at the call.

He said: ‘I haven’t heard the dialogue but ultimately the TMO is there to advise the referee and make the play more accurate. So if the judge has chosen not to use that information, it’s frustrating.

“The RFU has a really thorough review on Monday, and that will definitely come out. That process will be chewed through. They’re quite diligent at HQ so I’m sure it’ll be picked up and if it’s not I’ll call them on Tuesday.’

But Exeter boss Ali Hepher, who confirmed Sam Simmonds will leave for Montpellier at the end of the season, replied: ‘I would say as they decide now, it’s not forwards. The hands went backwards, the momentum carries the ball forward a little, not a kilometer. They are probably correct to review, but I will always say that it is in order.’

Wing Cadan Murley got the Quins rally rolling before the break, Tyrone Green continuing before Murley’s second and two from Luke Northmore.

The Chiefs went down to 14 men with center Ian Whitten yellow carded and Smith’s cross kick to Joe Marchant made it 42-38. Then Tshiunza scored his second to land the knockout blow.

Marcus Smith had a good day from the kicking tee but it wasn’t enough for Harlequins to win


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