All Blacks and Springboks put on red alert as Marcus Smith looks scarily good
It has been a fairly quiet start to the season for Harlequins and Marcus Smith, but they looked as though they were getting near their best on Sunday against Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell.
In what has been a fairly unhappy hunting ground for Quins in recent years, and with Sale unbeaten in the Gallagher Premiership going into the match, sitting in second, the hosts were the favourites. But Marcus Smith pulled off an inspired performance, scoring 24 of his side’s 29 points in their 29-13 win. That included one try, two conversions and five penalties, and the one try that he did not score was all down to him.
The try was scored by his winger Nick David, who only really needed to dive on the ball over the line following a perfectly weighted grubber kick by Smith following a break. It was a game where he showed his full skillset, and one that will please Eddie Jones greatly with the autumn Test window approaching. With Owen Farrell potentially out of the first Test against Argentina with a head injury, Jones will be pleased to see Smith put in such a controlled performance against a high-flying side.
Smith’s head coach Tabai Matson even credits England for improving his fly-half, who recently returned from a three-day training camp .
“Every time he goes away with England he seems to come back a better player, and that’s fantastic for us,” Matson said.
“He set a terrific example again today.
“He measures the tempo and keeps control, and he keeps the scoreboard ticking over.
“To have 100 Premiership appearances under his belt at just 23 years of age is just ridiculous.
“He’s a great young player and he’s going to break lots of records.
“This is a great result for our club – Sale has been a notoriously tough place for us to come over the years but we’ve dug deep today and got the result.
“We squeezed them at crucial points and though it wasn’t classic Quins rugby, we stopped a lot of Sale’s momentum at crucial times.”
Take a look at Smith’s game: