Quins blog: Have Quins got one more trick up their sleeve?
2:00pm Saturday 19th May 2012 in Rugby Union
I think the sporting phase: 'It was a game for the neutral' - should be replaced with the more accurate statement: 'it was a nightmare for the fans.'
But such is sport, and so particularly is rugby a game that can switch and change in an instant, writes Ben Wallace.
For Quins fans, I expect large chunks of the second half of Saturday's semi-final encounter was watched through fingers, from behind the sofa, and amongst gasps, sighs and other noises reserved only for sports fans watching a knock-out game.
But for all the stress and discomfort Quins eventually came away winners, dealing a heartbreaking fourth semi-final loss to Northampton.
In reality, taking away the drama of the occasion and the manner of the win, the game was far from vintage.
For large parts of the game Quins played a tight game with a very narrow attacking line which prevented their backs from posing any serious threat.
In fact it wasn't until it seemed the tide had turned in favour of the Saints did Quins respond; a tribute to a team with self-belief at the core.
This wasn't the fist time this season the South Londoners had escaped with a last gasp win, though none have been quite as important, or indeed dramatic.
In the end though it was a fitting team effort that gained Harlequins their first Premiership final.
Having had the lion's share of possession, the Saints tackle count began to show as the Quins pack dominated.
Johnston, Marler and Gray were all outstanding.
The maul that led to the win-bringing try was unusual but typical of Quins' season. Driving hard, the pack were already on the march to the try line when joined by Nick Evans, Mike Brown and other backs to create a massive maul comprised of virtually the entire team.
The fact it was Marler left holding the ball under the pile of bodies was appropriate, but if ever a try should go down as a team effort it was this one.
Bizarrely, the pressure seems now to be off the Harlequins, who will be underdogs against a Leicester team who seem incapable of not finishing each season at Twickenham.
Quins have exceeded everyone's expectations this season, and surprised everyone except perhaps themselves.
The question is, do they have one more trick up their sleeve?