Harlequins dig deep to sink Sale and win 10th Premiership home game in a row
Injury-ravaged Harlequins overcame major disruption to maintain their unbeaten Aviva Premiership home record with a hard-fought 29-26 win over Sale at the Stoop.
It was a 10th home success in a row for the Quins but they had to rely on fifth minute replacement Tim Swiel to maintain their impressive run.
Swiel replaced Nick Evans before completing a 24-point haul with a solo try, two conversions and five penalties. Charlie Walker's try completed the scoring for the hosts.
For Sale, Denny Solomona scored two tries and Will Addison got the other, with the centre also kicking three penalties and a conversion.
The home side were without Chris Robshaw, Jack Clifford and Jamie Roberts, who all failed to recover from injuries picked up in last week's defeat at Worcester, while Joe Marler also missed out after injuring a calf in the warm-up.
When the game began, Quins soon suffered two further setbacks as an Addison penalty gave the visitors a fifth minute lead before Evans departed for a head injury assessment, following a heavy challenge.
The injury woes of the hosts did not abate as Will Collier was helped from the field with a leg injury, with Kyle Sinckler replacing him as early as the seventh minute.
In the absence of Evans, Quins declined a couple of kickable penalties in favour of attacking line-outs but they went unrewarded so when a third chance came along, Swiel's kick drew the sides level.
Addison and Swiel exchanged penalties as both teams struggled to bring any continuity to the game and it remained at 6-6 at the end of the first quarter.
Evans failed to return but despite constant disruption, his side dominated possession and territory - but surprisingly it was Sale who should have collected the first try.
Against the run of play, the visitors produced a flowing moment and were denied a try when Rob Webber threw the scoring pass forward.
Another injury blow for Quins soon followed when Owen Evans departed, to be replaced by Adam Jones, before they conceded the first try.
A strong run from Addison broke through some weak defence and Solomona was on hand to pick up and score - but this was soon nullified by a try from Walker after a couple of telling bursts from Mike Brown.
Two minutes before the interval, the hosts took the lead for the first time when Swiel seized on a loose ball to run 50 metres to score - and his conversion gave Quins a 20-13 half-time lead.
After the restart, Swiel kicked two further penalties but Sale remained in contention when McGuigan rewarded a sustained period of pressure by crossing for their second try.
Addison kicked a third penalty before Quins' injury curse struck again when an assessment was required on Luke Wallace.
The flanker didn't return and Quins nervously held on as Swiel's fifth penalty was just enough to keep their noses ahead as a late try from Solomona gave Sale a deserved bonus point.