Green scores his second try, and Quins sixth, to put visitors ahead in extra-time (Image: Action Images)
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When the end finally came Tyrone Green went to the far corner of the main stand to salute the Harlequins fans – and one in particular.
Up in the top tier Mike Brown, England’s most-capped fullback, stood arms raised and applauded back.
But for suspension the Quins great would have been wearing the number 15 jersey in Saturday’s semi-final. In his absence Green stepped up. And how.
The young South African was man of the match, contributing two tries to the greatest comeback in Premiership history.
“I knew I needed to play my game and deliver the best performance I could,” he said. “That with us losing Browny, I needed to step up.
“Mike is a legend at the club, actually a legend of world rugby. I’m very sad that he's not part of the group. But he's still supporting us.”
Harlequins players salute their supporters after reaching first Premiership final since 2012
(Image: Getty Images)
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Green’s first score made Quins believe, as they set about overturning a 28-0 deficit to book a Grand Final date with champions Exeter.
He created the late try for Joe Marchant which forced extra-time, then bagged the go-ahead score with 90 minutes on the clock.
For a year he had learned from Brown, whose 351 Quins appearances stand as a club record.
Mike Brown during what turned out to be his final appearance for Harlequins last month
(Image: Getty Images)
So when Brown, who joins Newcastle after Saturday’s final, was hit with a season-ending ban for a stamp, Green was ready to fill in.
Quins never stopped believing, even when everyone else did as Bristol claimed four unanswered tries in the first half hour.
Charles Piutau, Semi Radradra and Malins resembled modern-day Harlem Globetrotters in the way they toyed with hapless opponents.
Green steps inside Bristol Bears' prop Yann Thomas
(Image: Action Images)
But the magic suddenly dried up and when it did Quins grabbed hold of the ball and wouldn’t give it back.
Alex Dombrandt and Green scored immediately before and after half-time, Joe Marler turned up the heat at scrum-time and Marcus Smith, Danny Care, Louis Lynagh and Joe Marchant gorged themselves on fast ball.
Quins know Exeter won't be anything like as hot and cold at Twickenham when the club from across the road tries to win its first final since being crowned English champions for the one and only time in 2012.
Marcus Smith will go head to head with fellow England fly-half hopeful Joe Simmonds in Saturday's final
“This was a crazy game, but next week is when it counts,” said Green. “We know as a team we're entertaining, that we have the quality to light a stadium up.
“But if we lose that doesn't mean much. Our goal is the silverware.”
BRISTOL – Tries: Earl, Malins 3, Morahan. Con: Sheedy. Pens: Sheedy 3, .
QUINS – Tries: Dombrandt, Green 2, Chisholm, Lynagh, Marchant 2. Cons: Smith 4.