Match Centre: Cardiff Rugby 33-36 Harlequins

Marcus Smith contributed with 16 points
Marcus Smith contributed with 16 points

Cardiff Rugby 33-36 Harlequins, Cardiff Arms Park

Marcus Smith kicked the decisive penalty goal in the final minute as Harlequins edged out Cardiff Rugby with a 36-33 margin in the third round of the Heineken Champions Cup at Cardiff Arms Park on Friday.

This is third win for Harlequins in as many games as they are at the top position in Pool B with 14 points while Cardiff are languishing at the bottom.

Harlequins made an early breakthrough in the 6th minute as a crossfield kick from Smith allowed winger Louis Lynagh to touchdown in the 6th minute and Smith kicked the conversion to make it 0-7.

The response from the home side came in the 11th minute with Owen Lane powering his way over in the 11th minute and James Ratti followed the suit in the 18th minute. Jarrod Evans kicked the conversions on both the occasions as the home side extended their lead to 14-7.

Evans missed a chance to extend the lead of Cardiff with his penalty going wide in the 28th minute and at the stroke of half-time, they were down to 14 players temporarily with Dmitri Arhip sin-binned for repeated infringements.

With the numerical advantage on their side, the Quins narrowed down the gap with Smith's crossfield kick which Tyrone Green capitalised to crossover but the conversion went missing as the teams completed the opening half with a 14-12 scoreline.

The visitors were the quickest to get off the block in the second half with Alex Dombrandt releasing Luke Northmore over the line and Smith kicked the extras making it 14-19.

Nevertheless, Cardiff took control as the Quins had Dombrandt sin-binned for a cynical infringement close to his own line as the home side went on to score three tries in a span of four minutes from Dillon Lewis (52'), Corey Domachowski (57') and Lane (55') making it 33-19.

Quins scrum-half Danny Care sneaked over from the back of a maul with an hour as they clawed their way back into the game and by the 75th minute Smith with a converted try ensured the scores were levelled 33-33 before the England international landed the decisive penalty goal in the closing stage to seal a thrilling win for the Quins.

Team line up:

Cardiff: Amos; Lane, Lee-Lo, Halaholo, Adams; J Evans, T Williams; Carre, K Myhill, Arhip, Turnbull, S Davies, Lewis-Hughes, Jenkins, Ratti.

Reserves: T Myhill, Domachowski, Lewis, Thornton, Boyde, L Williams, Priestland, B Thomas.

Harlequins: Green; Lynagh, Marchant, Northmore, Murley, Smith, Care; Marler, Walker, Collier, Symons, Lamb, Taulani, Lawday, Dombrandt

Reserves: Riley, Botta, Kerrod, Tizard, White, Stafford, Edwards, Jones.


European Rugby Champions Cup Points Table