After a somewhat turbulent start to his first season in a top job, Paul Gustard's Harlequins claimed a Twickenham victory over former London foes Wasps, now located in the Midlands, earlier today. The former England coach's trademark defence seems to have clicked for the 2012 Premiership champions, with today's triumph backing up a victory over table toppers Exeter Chiefs during round nine.
A try in the 52nd second for new boy on the block Alex Dombrandt set Quins on a promising early trajectory, sparking to life their 80-minute lead. Free-scoring centre Joe Marchant went on to secure Harlequins' lead and eventual victory with his try in the 63rd minute, dotting down behind the posts after the procurement of a trademark Danny Care grubber, threading the ball through wouldbe defenders' legs for Quins second and final score.
Two successful penalties from the boot of 19-year-old Marcus Smith would be added to Dombrandt's and Marchant's score to hold Wasps at arms length, with a short-range try for replacement tighthead Will Stuart, and a penalty apiece for top internationals Lima Sopoaga and Elliot Daly proving too little to take a lead at any point today.
Aside from Dave Ward's yellow card in the twelfth minute for a stamp to the ankle of Wasps openside Thomas Young, Harlequins' victory was unbesmirched, with a try bonus-point standing along as the missing ingredient to the perfect day at the heart of English rugby.
Despite the fine work Dai Young has put in both behind the scenes and up front for all to see since taking charge of Wasps 2011 while the club was on the brink of relegation and liquidation, the pressure will be mounting upon the Welshman's shoulders. Having started the season as favourites for a third-place finish, second only to Premiership powerhouses Saracens and Exeter, Wasps have dropped to seventh place in the league table following today's result and will slump to either eight or ninth place following the conclusion of the clash at the Recreation Ground between Bath and Leicester tomorrow.
As far as Young is concerned this season, when it rains, it pours. Injuries, financial turmoil, concerning rumours of departing stars, unexpected international call-ups and Christian Wade's retirement in pursuit of NFL stardom have drenched Young so far this season, with the Coventry-based side claiming just two victories in their last ten games in their Premiership and Champions Cup campaigns.
The odds seem to have set themselves against Wasps this season and even a coach as fine as Dai Young will have to pull out something special to stem the flow of confidence currently streaming from the hole in Wasps' boat.
Wasps will host an in-form Northampton Saints at the Ricoh next weekend, facing down a side Chris Boyd lead to a chest-thumping victory over league leaders Exeter Chiefs Friday evening.
Broadstreet RFC - Wasps' training base - will be an uncomfortable place this coming week. Even with Monday's impending New Years celebrations, the looming shadow of a winless December and many more issues besides is sure to linger.