Gallagher Premiership champions Harlequins had too much for Newcastle Falcons in Friday night’s encounter at the Twickenham Stoop, taking the full five points.
The visitors more than played their part in an entertaining encounter, but crucially failed to make the extra two men count during a second-half spell when their hosts had a pair of players in the sin bin.
Newcastle trailed 19-10 at half-time but had showed early flashes, with a break down the left from Lucock and a grubber to the right corner.
It was Harlequins who drew first blood on four minutes when the resulting line-out saw them launching a length-of-the-field attack. Huw Jones rounded it off with a try down the left - Italian international Tommy Allan adding the conversion.
Newcastle kept plugging away, Adam Radwan beating his opposite man down the right, his side kicking a penalty to the left corner and getting to within a whisker of a try when they broke away from a close-range line-out.
A quick tap penalty in front of the posts saw further flirtations with points, only for the ball to be knocked on in contact, but the pressure finally told on 25 minutes when Will Haydon-Wood slotted a simple penalty to reward their red-zone attack.
Harlequins responded with an unconverted try from Cadan Murley in the left corner when the winger hit a short line from the back of a line-out – Allan firing wide with the attempted conversion.
Their lead was increased to 16 just after the half-hour when fellow winger Louis Lynagh crossed on the overlap in the right corner for a converted try, but the Falcons narrowed the half-time deficit to 19-10.
That was after they had won a penalty on halfway and kicked it to touch for a line-out on the home 22 – Haydon-Wood breaking the defensive line and setting up the close-range ruck from which Tom Marshall propelled himself over on his first Premiership start.
Haydon-Wood added the conversion to make it a nine-point deficit, and his side began the second half with gusto, defending resolutely around halfway and forcing their hosts into handling errors early in the half.
Quins were reduced to 14 men temporarily when centre Luke Northmore was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on, and 14 became 13 when Danny Care joined him.
Haydon-Wood was denied a try by the TMO from the resulting scrum when he was deemed to have knocked on in the act of scoring, and the Falcons just could not make the extra man count as multiple red-zone line-out opportunities passed without points being out on the board.
Restored to 15 men for the last quarter of an hour, the champions grabbed the bonus-point try when Murley grabbed his second of the night from a lineout in the left corner.
Will Edwards’ conversion bounced back off the post, and despite wave after wave of Newcastle attack during what remained of the game, the points just would not come.
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Tom Penny (captain), 13 George Wacokecoke (Max Wright, 72), 12 Pete Lucock, 11 Adam Radwan, 10 Will Haydon-Wood (Brett Connon, 66), 9 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti (Louis Schreuder, 50); 1 Trevor Davison (Adam Brocklebank, 50), 2 George McGuigan, 3 Mark Tampin (Richard Palframan, 50), 4 Greg Peterson (Will Montgomery, 63), 5 Rob Farrar, 6 Sean Robinson, 7 Josh Basham, 8 Tom Marshall (Freddie Lockwood, 50).
Scorers - Tries: . Conversions: . Penalties: Will Haydon-Wood.
Harlequins: 15 Tyrone Green, 14 Louis Lynagh, 13 Huw Jones (Luke Northmore, 50), 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Tommy Allan (Will Edwards, 65), 9 Danny Care (Lewis Gjaltema, 69); 1 Joe Marler (Simon Kerrod, 76), 2 Sam Riley (Jack Walker, 50), 3 Wilco Louw (Will Collier, 50), 4 Matt Symons (George Hammond, 52), 5 Hugh Tizard, 6 Stephan Lewies (captain), 7 Tom Lawday, 8 Archie White.
Scorers - Tries: Huw Jones, Cadan Murley 2, Louis Lynagh. Conversions: Tommy Allan 2.
Referee: Karl Dickson.
Green, Lynagh, Jones, Esterhuizen, Murley, Allan, Care, Marler, Riley, Louw, Symons, Tizard, Lewies, Lawday, White
Replacements Walker, Kerrod, Collier, Hammond, Jurevicius, Gjaltema, Edwards, Northmore
Brown, Penny, Wacokecoke, Lucock, Radwan, Haydon-Wood, Nordli-Kelemeti, Davison, McGuigan, Tampin, Peterson, Farrar, Robinson, Basham, Marshall
Replacements Maddison, Brocklebank, Palframan, Montgomery, Lockwood, Schreuder, Connon, Wright
referee: Karl Dickson
assistant: Anthony Woodthorpe
assistant: Alex Thomas
TMO: Dean Richards