Exeter Chiefs were unable to find a way past Harlequins in Big Game Six at Twickenham, falling to a 22-6 Premiership defeat.
The Devon club were behind after just two minutes after getting turned over within metres of their own try line.
Fly-half Nick Evans prospered, applying the finish as the ball was moved to the opposite flank and then added the conversion.
Gareth Steenson took an immediate chance to put three points on the board for Chiefs after Quins’ former Cornish Pirate Matt Hopper was penalised for lifting Jason Shoemark in a tackle.
Quins went close again after a smart line-out move set scrum-half Danny Care away only for Chiefs to scramble their defence just short of the try line.
Two penalty opportunities were spurned by Evans as his side continued to dominate territorially in the first 20 minutes.
However, they got their reward after a fine move put wing Charlie Walker in on the right for their second try of the opening half.
And although Evans hit the post with the conversion, Chiefs’ misery was compounded by the loss of wing Jack Nowell after he was shown a yellow card for tipping Hopper in a tackle just before the try was scored.
Chiefs held their own while down to 14 men but conceded a third try, scored by Mike Brown and converted by Evans, just before the half-time break to create a 16-point gap between the sides at the interval.
Exeter did get the first points of the second half with Steenson kicking his second penalty of the afternoon but they were able to make further progress before Evans slotted his first penalty of match with 20 minutes left.
The only consolation for Rob Baxter’s men came in their ability to deny Quins a four-try bonus point in the closing stages but they left the home of English rugby pointless themselves.