Premiership leaders Exeter Chiefs saw their unbeaten start to the season come to an end as they were beaten 28-26 at Harlequins.

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Exeter had won each of their first eight games, but found themselves 13-5 down at half-time at Twickenham Stoop.

Jamie Chisholm went over from a line-out and Nathan Earle crossed to give Quins an eight-point lead at the break, and it was one they held on to despite a 21-point second half from Exeter.

Quins’ lead was just a point after Exeter tries from Jack Yeandle and Ollie Devoto, which were sandwiched by Earle’s second.

However, a penalty from Marcus Smith gave Quins breathing room and that was increased as Joe Marchant added their fourth try.

Ian Whitten raced clear to give Exeter hope of pulling off a dramatic victory, but Quins survived a tense finish to condemn the Chiefs to their first defeat.

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Despite the loss, Exeter remain atop the Premiership ladder two points clear of Saracens, who meet third-placed Wasps on Saturday night.

The win for Harlequins – their fourth of the year – sees them leapfrog Gloucester for a share of third place.

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