Harlequins are one of the most historic teams in English rugby. While there are other teams with a lot more titles, they have produced some incredible title runs.
What year did Harlequins win the Premiership? Harlequins won the Premiership for the first time in 2012. They won the title for the second time in 2021. Harlequins have won the top division of English rugby twice. The team’s first title came in 2012, with the second coming in 2021.
Harlequins 2012 Premiership Victory
Prior to 2012, Harlequins had never had a massive amount of success in the Premiership. They had come closest in 2008-09, finishing second in the league. But their home semi-final could not have gone much worse. Quins were held scoreless against London rivals London Irish, with the game finishing 0-17 after a dismal 80 minutes.
However, Harlequins came into the 2011-12 season with a lot of momentum despite finishing seventh the prior season. They had won the Challenge Cup the prior season and so headed into the campaign with a lot of hope and a talented team. They began the season in brilliant form, winning their first 10 games.
Quins’ excellent start to the season, combined with a win in their final game was enough to finish the season in first, just two points above Saracens who finished third. It gave them another home semi-final, this time coming up against Northampton. It was a brilliant game, with a 77th-minute Joe Marler try sealing the victory and sending Harlequins across the road to Twickenham.
They faced Leicester Tigers who were one of the dominant teams in English rugby in the 2000s and 2010s. Tom Williams gave Harlequins the lead after just nine minutes, aided by a Nick Evans penalty. Both sides added points through the boot before Steve Mafi replied with a try of his own.
Nick Evans continued to add points with the boot before Chris Robshaw scored a crucial try for Harlequins to take the game away from Leicester. Anthony Allen scored for Leicester and George Ford added a penalty to take the lead to just one score. But Quins held on for the final ten minutes, giving Harlequins their first Premiership title.
Harlequins 2021 Premiership Victory
Harlequins certainly did not start the 2020-21 season in quite as good form as their 2012 title victory. In fact, Harlequin’s first game of the season was a heavy loss to Exeter Chiefs where Sam Simmonds scored a hattrick. Harlequins would respond with a massive win over Northampton in their second game of the season.
Thanks mainly to some brilliant work from guys like Marcus Smith, Alex Dombrandt, Danny Care and Joe Marchant, Harlequins would finish fourth at the end of the season. It was enough for them to be in the semi-final where they faced top-of-the-table Bristol. They got to this position with the second-best attack in the league, but also the third worst defence in the league.
The gulf in quality between the two sides looked pretty clear early on and Harlequin’s defence was cut into. Two tries from Max Malins along with scores from Ben Earl and Luke Morahan meant that Harlequins were down 28-0 after just 30 minutes and another trip to the final was pretty much impossible.
Quins responded just before halftime and then produced one of the most incredible comebacks in Premiership Rugby history. From being 28-0 down, Harlequins were able to bring the game back to 31-31 at the end of 80 minutes. Max Malins completed his hattrick to start extra time and Quins were again behind.
Tyrone Green responded for Harlequins, six minutes into the red of the first half of added time. Joe Marchant’s try in the corner secured the victory sending Harlequins to the final in
one of the most incredible games of rugby the Premiership has ever seen.
The final was always going to be excellent as it was between the two highest-scoring teams in the league. Quins were not behind straight away, instead scoring first thanks to a penalty try. But Exeter responded quickly, with two converted tries putting the Chiefs ahead. Just before halftime, Alex Dombrandt gave Quins the lead again. They extended this lead just after the break.
But Harlequins gave up their lead and were down by five points with ten minutes to go. Harlequins needed a hero and up stepped Louis Lynagh. The young winger scored twice in the final ten minutes to secure an unlikely title for Harlequins, the team’s second Premiership Rugby title in their history.
What year did Harlequins win the Challenge Cup?
Harlequins have never had a huge amount of success in the Champions Cup or the Heineken Cup, but they have been very successful in the Challenge Cup. Harlequins have won the Challenge Cup three times. They have won the title in 2001,2004 and most recently in 2011.
Harlequin’s first title came in 2001. They won five of their six group games, advancing through to the knockout stages with ease. In the quarter-final they faced French side Brive, beating them 20-13. It was an all-English affair in the semi-final, with Quins beating Newcastle Falcons.
The final was a tough one against the French side Narbonne. But Quins benefited from international talent like Keith Wood, Will Greenwood and Jason Leonard to win the title. Three years later they again cruised through the first two rounds. Despite a heavy loss in the second leg, Harlequins progressed with ease to the semi-final thanks to a huge 41-8 win over Brive in the quarter-final.
It was similar in the semi-final, with Harlequins winning the first leg comfortably and losing the second leg by just five points which were just enough to send them to the final, this time against Montferrand.
It was another difficult game, with Quins down by six with just a minute remaining. After a red card to French centre Raphael Chanal, Quins scored the winner thanks to Simon Keogh.
They were again cruising through the competition in the 2010-11 season. They won by more than one score in both the quarter-final and the semi-final but were under pressure in the final.
Quin’s were down with five minutes to go before Gonzalo Camacho scored in his final game for the club and Nick Evans slotted the conversion from the sideline for the victory.