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Marcus Smith returns from World Cup to enhance stylish Harlequins display

Billy Millard hailed homegrown talent, Marcus Smith, as his exquisitely placed cross-field kick saw Quins charge to victory against winless visitors Newcastle Falcons 40-12.

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Marcus Smith celebrates during a dominant Harlequins display

Early pressure from the Falcons was futile and a Bryan Byrne yellow card helped Quins race to a 21-0 lead at the half, courtesy to scores from Sam Riley, Dino Lamb, and Nick David.

Louis Lynagh acrobatically flew over in the corner to mark his 50th Quins appearance, with Smith’s second-half cameo allowing the home side to finish the match in style with Green diving over at full-stretch. Green’s acrobatics are already making a strong push for try of the season.

Two Falcons tries could only act as a consolation after a disappointing outing at The Stoop.

Millard, the Harlequins director of Rugby said: “It’s awesome to have Marcus [Smith] back. From minute one back in training he’s been bouncing.

“All our internationals had a great time out in France and having them back naturally lifts the squad. But the guys who have been here playing while the World Cup has been on have been awesome too. That’s why we are in a healthy place.”

On Tyrone Green’s acrobatic finish, he added: “It was unbelievable. Each week he [Green] is just getting better and better. The connection between Tyrone and Marcus is pretty special.”

“I look forward to having a little glass of red and watching that one later tonight in slow-mo.”

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Nick David and Tyrone Green celebrate Green’s try

Reflecting on today’s opponent, Millard continued: “Fair play to Newcastle, that first 20 minutes they put a lot of pressure on us, but we ended up getting a lot of confidence from our defending.”

Today’s opening scorer, Sam Riley, praised the performance of the Quins pack.

He said: “The maul was great, we had great go-forward and I was just at the back and dotted down.

“There’s huge competition for positions with Nathan [Jibulu], George Head, and Jack Musk, and it’s all just pushing us to be better.”

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Harlequins celebrate as Sam Riley scores his side’s opening try

Falcons’ head coach, Alex Codling reflected on another frustrating day, ruing the missed chances.

“We’re a bit like a boxer at the moment, throwing loads of jabs but we just can’t find the knockout punch.

“We missed an early kick at goal, and we missed a try that we should score. 10-nil is a very different game to 14-nil the other way.”

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Frustrated by the sloppy scrummaging performance, he says that was how Quins found their feet.

Despite the defeat he explained how today’s match was a fantastic advert for the Gallagher Premiership, going on to hail his Argentine trio returning from their World Cup duties.

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Mateo Carreras features for Argentina at World Cup

 “Bello when he came on did a great job and for me, Mateo Carreras has got magic in him.”

Harlequins temporarily sit top of the Premiership after their bonus point win, but Newcastle remain rock-bottom as they prepare to host a tough Saracens side next Sunday. 

Author

  • Sam France

    Sam France is an avid tennis watcher and player, frequently found passionately raving about the WTA. A journalist with a passion for all things sport, culture, and politics, Sam is a committed Radio 4 listener. A big WSL fan, Sam is still searching for a Guro Reiten autograph. @SamFrance28