It was a tired looking display from Gloucester who had tasted such glory only six days earlier. Quins, for their part, had enjoyed a weekend off and maybe this was the difference?
Whatever the reasons, Harlequins were definitely up for it and Gloucester just seemed to be flat.
Whatever Bryan Redpath's side tried simply failed to come off and, defensively, they fell off more tackles than in the previous month combined.
The home side exploited this with their slick offloading game and four tries in 14 minutes in a purple patch either side of half time, settled it as a contest.
It brought Gloucester back down to earth with a bump. Everyone knew that the winning run wouldn't go on forever but few suspected it would end in such spectacular fashion.
The talk in the week had been about how much there is still to play for despite the LV= Cup success and bouncing back next week at home to Newcastle is now essential.
Gloucester had changed things up from last weekend's LV= Cup win against Newcastle and only time would tell if this adversely affect the team's momentum as they went after their 12thwin a row in all competitions.
And the opening few minutes were certainly a bit disjointed from both teams as they sought to get a foothold in the game.
Quins though were the first to threaten as backs and forwards combined patiently to set Nick Easter rumbling into the Gloucester 22 with Danny Care in support. The defence got back but conceded a penalty a few metres out and Rory Clegg duly gave the home side a 3-0 lead after 10 minutes.
Quins were looking confident and almost took advantage of Gloucester being reduced to 14 men with Charlie Sharples down injured but Rory Lawson put in some fine defensive work to earn a penalty. Sharples was replaced by Jonny May.
It was a time for Gloucester to dig deep and front up with Quins obviously looking to put the game beyond them early on. Promising positions when they came were being squandered due to a lack of precision when in possession.
Quins duly profited as they worked their way into the Gloucester 22 with one powerful maul pulled down illegally. Quins regrouped and, although held out initially, Care's popped pass found hooker Joe Gray on the charge and he smashed his way over. Clegg converted for 10-0 after 24 minutes.
Gloucester responded quickly as the pack won a penalty at the next scrum and Nicky Robinson slotted a confident penalty to get his side on the board.
It just wasn't happening for Gloucester and they were punished as half time approached. Marler broke the defensive line and the supporting George Lowe was just halted by Tim Molenaar.
The ball came back quickly and Danny Care found George Robson lurking on the wing and the second row dived over gleefully. Clegg added a fine conversion for 17-3.
And the self destruct button was pushed before half time as a ball squirted out of the back of a Gloucester scrum and Danny Care pounced, making good ground before play was switched to allow Mike Brown to put Ugo Monye into the corner for the third try. Clegg converted for 24-3 at half time.
Gloucester just hadn't been at the races and it was going to take a huge second half effort to even get back into the game.
Quins had stuttered at times but the two tries just before the break were well taken and looked as though they'd be decisive.
Gloucester needed a good start but quickly found themselves on the back foot again after Marler burst through a tackle to make a good 40 metres. A penalty followed and Clegg made no mistake for 27-3.
The bonus point score came after 50 minutes. A knock on in midfield gifted possession to the home side. Camacho found Marler and his offload gave Monye a clear run to the line. Clegg added the easy conversion.
Worse was to follow. Alasdair Strokosch was yellow carded and George Lowe promptly crossed for the fifth with Clegg extending the lead to 41-3.
Pride was all that was left to play for and few players have more of that than Olivier Azam. The Frenchman led one assault on the home line but Freddie Burns was bundled into touch in the corner.
Henry Trinder did cross as he took a flat pass from Tim Molenaar and sprinted home to score a consolation try with Robinson converting.
However, even then the misery hadn't ended as Lowe skipped his way over for his second and Monye completed his hat trick in the final few minutes to ensure the Stoop hordes went home happy despite Tim Molenaar's last gasp try after Freddie Burns' audacious chip and catch opened up the defence.
|Harlequins Score Card|
|Gloucester Rugby Score Card|