Harlequins' England international Marcus Smith said the win over Cardiff Rugby in the third round of the Heineken Champions Cup was a 'massive relief'.
Louis Lynagh and Owen Lane exchanged tries in the opening half before James Ratti provided the Welsh regional side an advantage. Nevertheless, the Quins were provided with a lifeline as Cardiff lost Dmitri Arhip to sin-bin before the break and Tyrone Green dived over as the teams were separated by a 14-12 scoreline at the end of a thrilling opening half.
Second half tries from Luke Northmore, Danny Care and Marcus Smith ensured both teams were stranded with a 33-33 scoreline as the game entered the closing stage and that's when the England star slotted the decisive penalty goal in the final minute to seal a thrilling win for Harlequins.
“I don’t think we were at the races against a very strong Cardiff side.
“But I think it’s testament to the boys and to what we’ve been trying to build – I thought we stuck in there and we’re very resilient at times and to be rewarded with a penalty in front of the sticks by the forwards who I thought in parts were outstanding, it was a massive relief.”
The win also meant Harlequins now have three victories from as many games as they have booked a berth in the round of 16 along with Leicester Tigers, Munster and Bristol in the group and Smith is hoping for the success to continue.
“It’s an absolute pleasure to play with some of these players who go outside me and in the forwards, their ability to pick lines off me makes it so easy for me,” he said.
“Some of the tries were nice individual bits, but as a team, we’ve got to continue to work on gelling as a squad – and then hopefully we can play more team tries.”