Warriors came with the intention to gatecrash Harlequins’ party and they almost did with a barnstorming second half fightback that had the champions rattled.
Warriors scored four tries in the second period to secure two bonus points and it could so easily have been three more.
Having gone 21-3 down at the break and 28-17 down midway through the second period it would have been easy for Warriors to have settled for being plucky losers against a side celebrating winning the title in front of their home supporters for the first time.
But Warriors took on Harlequins at their own game with ollie Lawrence, Willi Heinz, Will Chudley and Marc Thomas scoring tries from sustained attacks.
Thomas’ try may have been the least spectacular but it was the most important as it secured the two bonus points and came after Harlequins had been penalised for not releasing with the countdown clock at zero.
Billy Searle put the penalty into touch in the 22, Warriors won the lineout and built the phases to win a penalty advantage they did not need as Thomas went over from close range.
Warriors were good value for those points and Harlequins will count themselves a little fortunate to have started their season with two wins.
In the end it was ball retention in contact and a high penalty count that proved costly for Jonathan Thomas’s team.
Warriors started strongly well with Owen Williams slotting a third minute penalty after good work by Christian Judge on the ground and the fly-half was narrowly off target with a longer range effort three minutes later.
On this occasion his kick shaved the right post and bounced out and Harlequins managed to scramble their way out of trouble.
But after that bright start, Warriors were tested by the pace of Harlequins’ attacking game and were punished when they conceded penalties under pressure.
Louis Lynagh crossed after 17 minutes when Harlequins tapped and ran a penalty and created an overlap for the right wing who got the ball down just before it was knocked from his grasp by the cover defence.
A pushover effort from a scrum by number eight Alex Dombrandt extended the lead and Warriors’ task became more difficult when Noah Heward was sin-binned for ten minutes either side of half-time for accidentally taking out a man in the air.
Warriors did well in defence to repel further raids but with just three seconds on the countdown clock, Harlequins won another penalty, kicked it to the corner, secured the lineout and got the ball wide to Caden Murley who found the gap where Heward would have been to dot down.
Warriors came out firing in the second half and they reduced the deficit when Lawrence powered over from a lovely try which Williams converted.
Harlequins wrapped their try bonus point when Joe Marchant crossed ten minutes later but Warriors set up a thrilling finale by reducing the gap to four points with two tries in four minutes period midway through the half.
A neat grubber from Williams was snaffled by Heinz who skidded over for his second try in as many matches.
Heinz was then replaced by Will Chudley who scored within three minutes of talking the field, rounding off a superb attack started by a brilliant burst from Jamie Shillcock down the left.
Williams added the conversion and it was anybody’s game until Harlequins turned pressure into penalties and eventually into points when Dino Lamb crossed from close range and Allan maintained his perfect kicking record.
But Warriors’ never-say-die attitude was rewarded when Harlequins decided to run from defence rather than kick the ball out and a penalty on the ground was punished with Thomas’ try for the club.
Warriors | 15 Jamie Shillcock, 14 Noah Heward, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Perry Humphreys (Nanai 55), 10 Owen Williams (Searle 75), 9 Willi Heinz (CC) (Chudley 60), 1 Ethan Waller (Thomas 57), 2 Scott Baldwin (Waller 57), 3 Christian Judge (Owlett 60), 4 Kyle Hatherell (Garvey 68), 5 Justin Clegg, 6 Ted Hill (CC), 7 Sam Lewis, 8 Matt Kvesic.
Replacements | 16 Niall Annett, 17 Marc Thomas, 18 Jack Owlett, 19 Matt Garvey, 20 Graham Kitchener, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Billy Searle, 23 Melani Nanai.
3m | Williams pen 0-3
17m | Lynagh try 5-3
18m | Allan con 7-3
30m | Dombrandt try 12-3
31m | Allan con 14-3
40m | Murley try 19-3
40m | Allan con 21-3
43m | Lawrence try 21-8
44m | Williams con 21-10
54m | Marchant try 26-10
55m | Allan con 28-10
59m | Heinz try 28-15
60m | Williams con 28-17
63m | Chudley try 28-22
64m | Williams con 28-24
74m | Lamb try 33-24
75m | Allan con 35-24
80m | Thomas try 35-29