JOE Carlisle’s Wasps career took a stride forwards on Sunday with his best display in the black and gold shirt.

The fly half was a late replacement for Andy Goode, who pulled out with a knee injury, but he looked accomplished from the first whistle and made light of the horrendous conditions to pull the strings for his team.

Director of rugby Dai Young said: “Joe had his best game for the club. He was very controlled and steered us around the park.

"He had the perfect balance between the kicking and running game.”

However, if ever Christian Wade and Tom Varndell were missed it was on Sunday.

The wingers shared 26 Premiership tries last season, five of them against Quins, and their firepower would almost certainly have been telling at The Stoop.

Young was not looking for excuses though.

He said: “All teams at this stage are going to have players missing and you have to adapt. I was pleased with what we had on the field.”