A final penalty kick from Marcus Smith fired the Harlequins in the Champions Cup round of 16, cementing their claim to England’s No. 10 shirt.
The 22-year-old scored 16 points, in a game the English champions were fortunate to win as they lost to Cardiff’s sharp all-time backline, but an elaborate lesson from Joe Marler set the stage for Smith’s work. his charm
“It’s comforting,” Smith said. “I don’t think we’ve been in the races against a very strong Cardiff team. It’s a testament to the guys and what we’re trying to build. We’ve stuck there and are very resilient at times.
“Having a penalty kick in front of the stick by the strikers was a huge relief. The strikers have been the difference for us all season. As two backs, we are very fortunate to be playing behind a group that stays ahead when you get ahead.
“Their ability to pick streaks off me makes it really easy for me and some of the attempts were nice individual pieces but as a team we have to keep focusing on taking shape as a team.”
It was such a farce that this game was played behind closed doors, with some of the highest category rugby and Owen Lane in Cardiff as well.
After a period of early pressing, Louis Linage collected a well-executed cross kick by Smith. The Australian cut inside Hallam Amos before showing his strength to lead his way across the line on his opening attempt. After several stages, the ball was distributed wide to Lin who saved some poor tackles to score in the extreme right corner.
Jarrod Evans made the additions and soon Cardiff celebrated his second attempt. Samoan center Rey Lee-Lo punched Quins with a 70-meter cut before unloading to Josh Adams. The Wales international was stopped by Tyrone Green, but after a period of constant pressure, James Ratti pressed from short distance. Cardiff slid into the podium sending prop Dmitri Arhip to Sin-bin, and they made the most of their numerical advantage with another Smith cross kick that touched Green. He sent some glamorous work from Smith with a sneaky interior pass to Alex Dombrandt Luke Northmore to try.
Smith turned, but Cardiff refused to throw in the towel, and he managed to build some pressure into Harlequins 22 which resulted in Dombrandt showing a yellow card for killing the ball on a crash. After banging and blowing into the visiting attempt streak, Wales international Dillon Lewis entered on Cardiff’s third attempt, with Evans turning to push Cardiff forward.
Then the game was completely turned head-on by a powerful kick from Amos collected by Lane who ended up acrobatic in the far left corner. The referee and TMO traded, but a try was eventually granted. The Harlequins were torn to shreds as a beautiful dump of Lee-Lo passed through the hands of Seb Davies and Shane Lewis-Hughes, before Lane charged the seam. Cardiff recirculated the ball with an inside pass from Willis Hallahulu allowing Corey Domachovsky to score. Smith danced his way past three defenders to score a decisive effort and tie the score in the process before dropping the match-winning penalty.
Cardiff rugby club manager Dae Young said: “You would like to think you can finish these matches, but if you watch Harkins it’s a normal day in the office for them, they won’t be beaten until the final whistle.” “I have never felt comfortable. I am proud of the effort and the way we played.”