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Harlequins player ratings vs Toulouse | 2023/24 Champions Cup

By Jack Tunney
Harlequins' English fly-half Marcus Smith (C) is tackled by Toulouse's French center Antoine Dupont (L) and Toulouse's French fly-half Romain Ntamack during the European Rugby Champions Cup semi-final rugby union match between Stade Toulousain Rugby (Toulouse) and Harlequins, at Stade de Toulouse in Toulouse, south-western France on May 5, 2024. (Photo by Valentine CHAPUIS / AFP) (Photo by VALENTINE CHAPUIS/AFP via Getty Images)

On Sunday afternoon Toulouse defeated Harlequins in an enthralling match in front of a fully packed, Stadium de Toulouse. The arena, usually the home of Toulouse FC, became the setting for one of the most fast and open matches of rugby ever likely to be seen in the northern hemisphere.

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Here’s how we rated the Harlequins player performances:

15. Tyrone Green – 8.5
Arguably Quins busiest man. Safe under the high ball throughout and looked truly deadly on the counter attack. He found himself able to cause chaos in the Toulouse defence on multiple occasions thanks to his impressive ability to slalom through a broken defence.

14. Louis Lynagh – 8
Able to turn a defender without a moments hesitation, Lynagh found his skills were truly rewarded in this festival style match. He ran hard at the defence all afternoon, made a great break in the build up to Green’s try, and even knocked through a 50:22 that would lead directly to a try.

13. Luke Northmore – 7
Put in some major hits and got through plenty of work on both attack and defence. Worked well with Andre Esterhuizen in the midfield.

12. Andre Esterhuizen – 7.5
The giant South African came into the game in the second half after a relatively slow first 40 by his normally impressive standards. His direct running style and deft hands became a focal point for the Quins resurgence as he made a dent in the Toulouse defence with every carry.

11. Cadan Murley– 7.5
Showed incredible pace to get ahead of Blair Kinghorn when chasing the ball back prior to Dupont’s try. Another outstanding diving finish in the corner proved once again why this young man is so highly rated in England.

10. Marcus Smith – 9
Booed by the home crowd as his name was announced prior to the match, possibly a sign that Toulouse were concerned about his potential threat. They would have been right to have been concerned when a trademark finish from Smith would open the scoring for Quins. The 25-year-old controlled the match well from a Quins perspective throughout. He threw himself into the tackle area constantly, orchestrated an impressive kicking game, and created multiple breakthrough chances for his team. An exemplary performance.

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9. Danny Care – 7
The veteran scrum half controlled the game well by mixing up the playing styles, venturing away from the fast paced in hand tactic towards the slow box kicking game, before turning back when the game called for it. Danny was guilty for causing his own side a couple of issues, however, namely the panicky flick to Cunningham-South which eventually led to a Toulouse try.

Player Carries

1
Tyrone Green
23
2
Antoine Dupont
16
3
Chandler Cunningham-South
15

1. Fin Baxter – 6
The young prop held his own physically, even if the scrum did struggle. He made his presence felt all around the pitch, replaced after 50 minutes.

2. Jack Walker – 3
An early wayward throw from the lineout wouldn’t have helped the nerves, but it soon improved with a rolling try coming directly off the back of one of his pinpoint accurate darts. Sadly for Walker, this was undone shortly afterwards after an overthrow led to a break away try for Dupont. His match was effectively ended towards the end after a senseless high hit put him in the bin for 10 minutes. He was lucky it wasn’t more.

3. Will Collier – 5.5
A particularly quiet day for the front row forward. Scrum stats also didn’t favour him, pulled after 60.

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4. Irne Herbst – 7
A similar performance to his second row partner, but this lock found himself ever so slightly less involved. Albeit it was still an impressive performance.

5. Stephan Lewies – 8
Second of Harlequins tackle count to only Will Evans, Lewies threw himself into every breakdown and every tackle area, as well as picking up a total of 9 carries over the match.

6. Chandler Cunningham-South – 6.5
Guilty of handing Toulouse their third try after failing to catch a Danny Care pass and ripped twice in the tackle, the young back row player had a nightmare first half. Fortunately for himself, and his teammates, he returned to the field a brand new player. His running lines became more direct, making room in the midfield for the fast men to race through the gaps he had created.

7. Will Evans – 8.5
A terrific performance from the flanker. He did everything asked of him, and more. He tackled well, he was constantly threatening to turn the ball over, and his carrying caused a whole host of problems in the Toulouse defence. A performance to be pleased with.

8. Alex Dombrandt – 5
Normally one of Quins stand out players, he looked lost out there this evening.

Replacements – 6
The match was hanging in the balance as the changes rang through, but sadly their introduction, whilst not counter-productive, wasn’t exactly super-productive. Not adding anything to the Quins side that wasn’t already on the field, the substitutes did an OK job. Joe Marlers’ slap on the back of Thomas Ramos’ head signaled the end of what was a promising comeback.

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Comments

3 Comments
D
Diarmid 77 days ago

Marler was brilliant throughout both in the scrum and open play. His slap made virtually no contact with Ramos who milked it for a penalty when he could have been a decent sportsman and laughed it off, it was non-violent and shouldn't have been penalised.

Smith failed repeatedly to kick when necessary and put up a couple of bombs into the TLS 22 that just handed back possession at key moments to the other side.

j
john 77 days ago

Could have been a different result but yet again French tv able to affect the result by not showing the very clear high shot on harlequin centre if this would have been on a French player would have been on screen at least five times

B
Bull Shark 77 days ago

Very generous!

If you’d missed the game, reading this you’d conclude that it was the Quins front row that cost them the game.

Marler getting a blanket 6 for his demented contribution to the game. Puzzling.

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Tim 5 hours ago
'It’s a mental thing': Joe Schmidt on the Wallabies' flyhalf issues

Ben Donaldson had not played Super Rugby for the past eight weeks. Surely, he was playing Shute Shield for Randwick in that time to keep up the fitness…?? Eight weeks is a long break to be thrust in against a hungry skillful side like Georgia who deserve to be in the “7 Nations”. (Italy, Wales & Scotland v Georgia, can’t wait to see those ones). In the second test against Wales, Donaldson was put on for nine minutes. That was a mistake from the coaching team, who already knew he was starting the following week against Georgia. They should have put him on for 20-25 minutes, with Nick Whyte at halfback, and their combination from the Force would have flowed. Donaldsons first 20 minutes against Georgia was a shocker. However, well done to Joe Schmidt for keeping him out there because Donaldsons game improved as the rust came off, he was hammered a few times and handled it and he came into his groove. He made mistakes which they will all learn from. Ben Donaldson is a naturally talented rugby player who the Wallabies have to stick with at no.10. “Over the black Dot-aldson” is a good nick name for him with his awesome goal kicking style. It looks as though, off the boot, it’s going to hit the post. Then it just curves in beautifully every time, once he is in the groove. Donaldsons play this season for the Force, with Kurtley and co., was amazing to watch. Kurtley making one of the best comebacks in history. Donaldson has to be played consistently with Flash Gordon, Big LEN, McReight, Tupou, Kellaway. Oh, that’s right, there is Bell, Kerevi, Petaia (This list does go on a bit). Donaldson will be slotting these weapons into gaps, and into the clear, before we know it… One more thing which I will just assume is happening, just include JOC in the Wallabies squad. He is a rugby genius. His skills, wisdom and experience would be infectious around the Wallabies relatively inexperienced backline. JOC has mastered the art of all the positions long ago. JOC is so skilled and match fit atm taking THE REDS, at no.10, within a point of beating Wales. He can come off the bench and slot into the backline for the Wallabies at 10, 12, 13 or 15 at any stage of a test match. Ummm yeah, not bad… I am assuming that BIG JOE, Laurie “Gandalf” Fischer, Mike “The scrum Doctor” Cron and the team obviously already know all this. I am just a passionate rugby union supporter, and I am very happy that these guys are in charge of the coaching duties, what a coaching team the Wallabies have been blessed with. (Good luck with selecting the match day 23 when Will Skelton, who was playing amazing rugby for La Rochelle, and the boys return from Europe/Japan, Samu Kerevi…???) Now just imagine having Bernie Larkham, Toutai Kefu, Nathan Grey and John “Nobody” Eales as your coaching apprentices… GO AUSTRALIAN RUGBY… Doing a great job Phil Waugh, Joe Roff, Dan Herbert and the team. An amazing three years ahead. GO THE WALLABIES… GO THE WALLAROOS… GO THE 7’s in Paris…

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