Mike Brown faces a sorry end to his Harlequins career after he was sent off for a stamp in a crazy 94-point thriller against Wasps which magnificent Marcus Smith won dramatically at the death.
Smith, 22, was once again the star as he took 28 points, including the winning try and conversion when the clock was up, as Quins cemented their place in the Premiership top four.
That last score was only the third time Harlequins had led all game having gone down to 14 men after Brown’s second-half red, playing more than half the match without their full-back.
Mike Brown was sent off in the 44th minute for his stamp on Wasps hooker Tommy Taylor
The former England man, 35, was held by Tommy Taylor at a ruck and stamped on the hooker’s face – called ‘highly reckless’ by the officials – and now is staring at a ban that could end his 15-year stay at Quins.
Off to Newcastle in the summer Brown, who was earlier yellow carded for a deliberate knock-on, could cop a 12 week suspension if deemed a top-end offence, which even if cut in half would see him miss the rest of the season.
‘In those situations when you’re being held in it can look a lot worse than it was,’ said Quins coach Adam Jones.
‘Of course it would be sad if that is the end. He is gutted. I’m sure the club will go balls-out to defend him as much as we can. Hopefully common sense prevails.’
Wasps hooker Tommy Taylor had to receive bandaging for a stamp from Mike Brown
Without Brown Quins pulled off an incredible victory. Smith took two of their six tries in a stupendous showing, also kicking every conversion – including one of a post – a penalty and providing three assists for Joe Marchant, James Lang and Alex Dombrandt. Danny Care was the other try-scorer to take his club tally to 90.
Smith’s final try sent the largely-empty Stoop into glorious celebration, the fly-half taking an inside pass from centre Marchant to dance in; England coach Eddie Jones had left before the end and missed the incredible finish.
‘If he was Welsh he would have 50 caps by now,’ said scrum-coach Jones after on Smith.
Alex Dombrandt finished well to score Harlequins fifth try of the match in the 60th minute
‘He’s an all-round player now. He’s a great goal-kicker and his game management is outstanding.
‘He’s got to be on the England tour. He’s got to be the future. He was chatted about with the Lions, so Warren Gatland has obviously seen something special in him as well.’
Wasps were heartbroken. Their scrum-half Dan Robson deserved to be on the winning side as he was sensational, but a try from him, two from Josh Bassett and others from Paolo Odogwu, Malakai Fekitoa and Thomas Young were not enough – Jacob Umaga kicking 16 points but missing one vital conversion.
‘You can’t come to The Stoop, score 46 points and lose,’ said Wasps boss Lee Blackett.
Marcus Smith was in sensational form, scoring 28 points, including the winning try