|Exeter Chiefs (14) 31|
|Tries: Turner, Woodburn, Hill 2 Cons: Steenson 4 Pen: Steenson|
|Harlequins (17) 17|
|Tries: Chisholm, Visser Cons: Smith 2 Pen: Smith|
Jonny Hill’s two tries helped Exeter overcome an error-strewn performance to beat Harlequins at Sandy Park and return to the top of the Premiership.
Hill crossed twice in the second half to earn a bonus-point win after first-half scores from Ollie Woodburn and Lachie Turner, but it was a lacklustre performance from the Chiefs.
Harlequins led at half-time with tries from James Chisholm and Tim Visser.
But they failed to score in the second period to leave Sandy Park pointless.
Harlequins were chasing a third straight Premiership win for the first time since 2014 and had hope at half-time, with teenage fly-half Marcus Smith impressing.
But Exeter ultimately prevailed to protect an unbeaten home run that stretches back to December 2016 and leapfrog Saracens at the top of the table.
The Chiefs regained the lead shortly after the interval as Hill barged over from close range, but they needed a TMO decision to prevent falling behind again.
Another TMO call was needed to confirm Hill’s second try, finishing a flowing move begun by Woodburn’s break and which secured a bonus point.
Exeter head coach Ali Hepher told BT Sport:
“We’re pleased to come through the game. We blew away a few cobwebs and we’ll expect better next week.
“There were marginal calls and the scoreline probably flattered us in the end.
“You’re not going to hit 100% performance week in week out, but you have to come through that to kick on.”
Harlequins director of rugby John Kingston:
“I’m absolutely gutted. I’m very proud of the group with the difficulties we’ve had this week.
“We thought we were back in front with 20 minutes to go and it was a game of small margins and tight TMO calls.
“Sometimes you get decisions and some not and that reflects the difference between the sides. It wasn’t a 14-point game.”
Exeter: Dollman; Turner, Whitten, Devoto, Woodburn; Steenson, White; Moon, Yeandle (capt), Low, Lees, Hill, Armand, Salvi, Waldrom.
Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Hepburn, Holmes, Salmon, Skinner, Chudley, Simmonds, Hill.
Harlequins: Chisholm; Alofa, Sloan, Lang, Visser; Smith, Kitto; Lambert, Ward, Collier, Matthews, Horwill (capt), Chisholm, Clifford, Luamanu.
Replacements: Piper, Boyce, Swainston, Merrick, Glynn, Prior, Ibitoye, Walker.
Referee: JP Doyle