Harlequins player ratings vs Exeter | 2021 Gallagher Premiership Final
HARLEQUINS PLAYER RATINGS: Coming into the Gallagher Premiership Final, the Londoners had scored 703 points in the 22 rounds, a feat only bested Saracens. Against that, they had reached the final despite conceding 77 tries in same period, a competition record.
They’re a team that come to play but the question was whether they could match the heroics of their remarkable semi-final against Bristol. The answer was emphatic.
1. JOE MARLER – 8
The England veteran caused Exeter all sorts of problems at setpiece. His tackle at 70 minutes summed up a titanic effort from the loosehead.
3. WILCO LOUW – 8
A mammoth shift from the giant tighthead, who has been a revelation for Quins this term. Rumbled over for a rare try to strike a blow against Exeter’s oft impenetrably forward pack.
4. MATT SYMONS – 7.5
Harlequins locking partnership didn’t shy away from the battle with their international opposite numbers. His 20 tackles were only bested by Kenningham’s 22.
5. STEPHAN LEWIES – 7
A 6’6, 113kg, piano-shifting pest that didn’t give an inch for 59 minutes.
6. JAMES CHISHOLM – 7
A couple of forced errors along the way but tackled his guts out. His ginger beard seemed to be everywhere.
7. JACK KENNINGHAM – 7.5
An absolute menace at the breakdown and it would be mean spirited to judge him for the half break conceded in the lead up to Devoto’s pivotal try. Maybe Harlequins find of the season.
8. ALEX DOMBRANDT – 8
What a battle this was with Sam Simmonds. At his rampaging best in the opening exchanges and his try before halftime was justly deserved.
9. DANNY CARE – 8.5
Quins Benjamin Button, Care refused to take the foot off, the London’s sides insane tempo reaping rewards. With things boiling over, it wasn’t surprising to see the 34-year-old at the centre of it of the melee.
10. MARCUS SMITH – 8
Marcus Smith had scored 278 points coming into the final, a tally that has only once been topped since 2007 – Jimmy Gopperth’s 292 for Wasps in 2017. His high stakes yellow didn’t cost Harlequins as he might have feared and the young maestro clearly thrived in this evening’s chaos.
11. CADAN MURLEY – 7.5
Some questionable decisions in defence with Exeter chasing the game in the first half, but 21-year-old was one of those that ran Exeter ragged. Off at 59 minutes after emptying himself on the pitch.
12. ANDRE ESTERHUIZEN – 8
The giant South African centre bagged a huge turnover in front of his line off a Simmonds carry and was good value for his second-half try. The hulking 12 is the odd one out in Harlequins’ backline, but he’s the perfect foil for the madcap attackers around him.
13. JOE MARCHANT – 8
Central to everything good Harlequins did in attack. Asked to step up with kicking duty with Smith in the sin bin, which wasn’t a problem. England starts surely beckon?
14. LOUIS LYNAGH – 8
A poor missed tackle on O’Flaherty stood out but he did just enough to shepherd Simmonds into touch a couple of plays later. His defence remains a work-on but his instincts in attack are impeccable.
15. TYRONE GREEN – 7.5
Exeter actually contained the in-form South African relatively but he still managed 34 metres after contact, four defenders beaten and a match-winning try assist. Not bad.
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