Match Centre: Harlequins 43-17 Cardiff Rugby

Marcus Smith contributed with 18 points
Marcus Smith contributed with 18 points

Harlequins 43-17 Cardiff Rugby, Twickenham Stoop

Harlequins maintained their perfect start to their Heineken Champions Cup campaign as they defeated Cardiff Rugby 43-17 in the second round at Twickenham Stoop on Saturday.

Cardiff full-back Cam Winnett made an incredible debut at fullback as he dummied over before going on to touchdown and Tomos Williams converted to make it 0-7.

The Quins fought back in the 9th minute with Danny Care collecting an inside ball to crossover while Marcus Smith improved it to level the scores but Cardiff suffered a major setback as Josh Adams was sin-binned for a dangerous tip-tackle on Tyrone Green.

Despite being down on numerical advantage, Cardiff secured their second try in the 16th minute as flanker James Botham sneaked over from close range but his effort was cancelled out with Smith working closely with Alex Dombrandt to score as the opening quarter ended with a 14-12 lead for the hosts.

Smith with his maiden penalty goal in the 28th minute extended Harlequins' lead to five points but it was shortlived as Seb Davies unleashed himself to beat a couple of defenders before releasing the ball to Theo Cabango to crossover but Williams missed out on the conversion as the teams went into the break unseparated at 17-17.

Both the teams were desperate for the first points in the second half and it did not come until the 58th minute with Dombrandt capitalising on pass from Care to crossover. The 62nd minute saw Joe Marchant dive in the corner and Smith kicked the conversions on both the occasions as the scoreline became 31-17.

Dombrandt completed his second try in the 67th minute that came at the back of a driving maul before Andre Esterhuizen took the home side's tally to 43 points with his dive near the posts to complete a 26 points victory.

Team line up:

Harlequins: Green; Marchant, Jones, Esterhuizen, Murley; Smith, Care; Botta, Walker, Kerrod, Tizard, Lewies, Lawday, Kenningham, Dombrandt.

Reserves: Musk, Hobson, Wilson, Symons, Taulani, Gjaltema, Northmore, Lynagh.

Cardiff: Winnett; Adams, Lee-Lo, Halaholo, Cabango; Fish, Williams; R Jenkins, Yardley, Davies-King, Lawrence, Davies, E Jenkins, Botham, Moore.

Reserves: Rees, N Evans, James, Anstey, Mann, Lloyd, I Evans, Wilkins.


European Rugby Champions Cup Points Table