Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
World World



'Daring, gallus and honest, Stuart Hogg has defined a Scottish era'

Stuart Hogg retires young, but retires a giant of Scottish sport.

RugbyPass+ Home

'He can do no more': Quins coach says Marcus Smith has delivered for Borthwick

Marcus Smith of Harlequins reacts after the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Harlequins and Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham Stadium on March 04, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Harlequins head coach Tabai Matson glowingly endorsed Marcus Smith amid doubts about his involvement in the remainder of England’s Guinness Six Nations campaign.


Smith was back in action for Quins on Saturday, after England boss Steve Borthwick earlier this week insisted he would profit from a run-out for the Gallagher Premiership team, having left him out of a 26-man training squad that gathered in Brighton.

Quins beat Exeter 40-5, snapping a five-game losing streak and climbing from ninth place to fifth in the table.

Video Spacer

Video Spacer

Smith impressed Matson, who said: “Marcus has come in, he knows what he needs to do and he knows the game well.

“What you saw is a guy that can find space, run, pass or kick. He’s passionate and he’s demonstrative when he does something well, that was him at his best.

“What you saw was a masterclass in finding space. That’s the best thing he could’ve done, he did what Steve asked of him – he bossed the game and made it difficult.

“I think he’ll be in the mix, he can do no more. Danny (Care) is special for me, he’s such an indicator for greatness.


“But if you ask the coaches who won that, they’d say the loose forwards were unbelievable.”

The home side took full advantage of Harvey Skinner’s time in the bin after making head contact with James Chisholm, with Cadan Murley, Josh Bassett, Sam Riley and Joe Marchant all scoring first-half tries.

Marchant added another following the interval, before captain Stephan Lewies got the final score of the game.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by RugbyPass (@rugbypass)


Despite some glimpses of brilliance from Exeter in early attacks and a Jack Innard driving maul score, they were outclassed by a team with something to prove.

Chiefs head coach Ali Hepher said: “The players will always try, they’re the ones that hurt the most. They’re the ones that have tried the hardest but not necessarily in the right direction.

“We’ve got to reset, move forward and make sure we’re in a frame of mind to bring the utmost intensity.

“We got the start we wanted as Bassett was in the bin and had a lot of pressure, but we didn’t convert.

“We’ve got to learn from everything we do and take the lessons onboard and we didn’t do that today.

“We’ve got to make sure as coaches that we get the right messages across and make sure that we hit the field in a better frame of mind, and add that bit of quality that we need moving forward.

“We’ll go back through it and have a look at the individuals but it’s not like we fielded a team playing in European finals.

“Some of those less experienced guys just have to learn the hard way.”


Join free and tell us what you really think!

Join Free
RUGBYPASS+ Claudia MacDonald: I know now this doesn't last forever so you have to enjoy every moment' Claudia MacDonald: I know now this doesn't last forever so you have to enjoy every moment'