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Marcus Smith holds nerve to snatch last-gasp Harlequins win over Cardiff | Champions Cup

A last-gasp Marcus Smith penalty fired Harlequins into the final 16 of the Champions Cup, and strengthened his declare to the England No 10 shirt.

The 22-year-old scored 16 factors, in a sport the English champions had been lucky to win as they had been run ragged by a razor-sharp Cardiff back-line all through, however a scrummaging masterclass from Joe Marler laid the platform for Smith to work his magic.

“It’s a aid,” Smith mentioned. “I don’t suppose we had been on the races towards a really sturdy Cardiff facet. It’s testomony to the fellows and what we’re attempting to construct. We caught in there and we’re very resilient at occasions.

“To be rewarded with a penalty in entrance of the sticks by the forwards was an enormous aid. All season the forwards have been the distinction for us. As backs we’re very fortunate to be taking part in behind a pack that when it will get on high, stays on high.

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Harlequins rejoice Smith kicking the successful penalty within the last minute. {Photograph}: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK/Shutterstock

“Their skill to decide strains off me makes it really easy for me and a few of the tries had been good particular person bits however as a workforce, we have now to maintain specializing in gelling as a squad.”

It was a travesty this sport was performed behind closed doorways, with a few of the rugby of the very best class and Cardiff’s Owen Lane additionally excellent.

After a interval of early stress, a well-executed cross-kick by Smith was gathered by Louis Lynagh. The Australian minimize inside Hallam Amos earlier than exhibiting his power to energy his approach over the road for his or her opening attempt. After a couple of phases, the ball was unfold vast to Lane who disregarded some weak tackling to rating on the far right-hand nook.

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Problem Cup: Newcastle earn late win at Biarritz

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George Wacokecoke’s last-gasp attempt noticed Newcastle snatch a dramatic 17-13 Problem Cup win at Biarritz to go high of Pool A. The successful rating was awarded after a prolonged TMO referral, with the clock past 80 minutes.

Wacokecoke was awarded the attempt after replays confirmed that he managed to get the ball to floor inside the fitting nook submit. Sam Stuart had seen his seventh-minute rating cancelled out by house flanker Tornike Jalaghonia, with Brett Connon kicking two conversions and a penalty.

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Within the Champions Cup, Gavin Coombes’ late attempt was ok for Munster to come from behind and defeat Castres 16-13. The Irish facet’s third win from three video games secures their place within the knockout levels. PA Media

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Jarrod Evans added the extras and Cardiff had been quickly celebrating their second attempt. Samoan centre Rey Lee-Lo sliced Quins open with a 70-metre break earlier than offloading to Josh Adams. The Wales worldwide was hauled down by Tyrone Inexperienced, however after a interval of sustained stress, James Ratti squeezed over from quick vary. Cardiff buckled within the scrum which resulted in prop Dmitri Arhip getting despatched to the sin-bin, and so they made essentially the most of their numerical benefit with one other cross-kick from Smith main to Inexperienced touching down. Some glowing work from Smith with a misleading inside cross to Alex Dombrandt despatched Luke Northmore over for a attempt.

Smith transformed, however Cardiff refused to throw within the towel, and had been in a position to construct some stress within the Harlequins 22 which resulted in Dombrandt getting proven a yellow card for killing the ball on the breakdown. After huffing and puffing on the visiting attempt line Wales worldwide Dillon Lewis barged over for Cardiff’s third attempt, with Evans changing to nudge Cardiff forward.

The sport then turned utterly on its head with a well-weighted kick from Amos gathered by Lane who acrobatically completed on the far left-hand nook. The referee and the TMO deliberated, however the attempt was ultimately awarded. Harlequins had been getting ripped to shreds as a beautiful offload from Lee-Lo went by means of the palms of Seb Davies and Shane Lewis-Hughes, earlier than Lane charged up the touchline. The ball was recycled by Cardiff with an inside cross from Willis Halaholo permitting Corey Domachowski to rating. Smith danced his well beyond three defenders to rating a vital try to stage the scores within the course of earlier than touchdown the match-winning penalty.

“You desire to to suppose you may shut these video games out, however should you watch Harlequins that’s a daily day on the workplace for them, they’re by no means crushed till the ultimate whistle,” mentioned Cardiff director of rugby Dai Younger. “I by no means felt comfy. I’m happy with the trouble and the best way we performed.”

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