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'Ridiculously reckless': The Rugby Pod reacts to Mike Brown's red-carded stamp and gives its verdict on Marcus Smith's latest magic

By Liam Heagney

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This week’s edition of The Rugby Pod has focused on two players at the opposite ends of their Harlequins careers, veteran Mike Brown, who is joining Newcastle next season after 17 years at the London club, and young Marcus Smith, who has been lighting up the Gallagher Premiership with his recent match-winning exploits. 

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Harlequins consolidated their push for end-of-season playoff qualification with Sunday’s compelling home win over Wasps, last year’s beaten finalists. However, they nabbed victory against the odds as they looked set to be beaten following the first-ever red card for Brown, the 35-year-old full-back. 

He was sent off by referee Wayne Barnes early in the second half for a stamp on the face of Tommy Taylor and is expected to receive a ban following Tuesday night’s virtual disciplinary hearing that would likely end his Harlequins career without an on-pitch farewell in next month’s knockout stages of the league.

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The Rugby Pod co-host Jim Hamilton said on their latest edition of the show, “He’s had the red mist there”, an opinion followed up by Andy Goode who believes a long ban is now inevitable for Brown.  

“I don’t believe Mike Brown would have thought to deliberately stamp on his [Taylor’s] head but he is deliberately trying to stamp on him somewhere, put his boot on him somewhere, and it’s unfortunate it has gone on his head and hit his eye and it is really dangerous,” said Goode. 

“He [Taylor] could have lost his sight in his eye to be fair but anyone who is now saying you just hope they go soft on him [Brown] so he can get a Quins farewell, it’s just crazy. It’s a stamp, it’s landed on his head, it’s ridiculously reckless. Do I think he tried to stamp on his head? No. Do I think he deliberately tried to stamp on him because the red mist came out? Yes, so therefore you have to accept the consequences. A long ban is probably coming for it.”

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While the Brown sending-off was a depressing negative from Sunday’s Premiership contest, the match-winning contribution of out-half Smith was the polar opposite and it left Goode, the ex-England No10, enchanted by the skills of the uncapped 22-year-old who signed a Harlequins contract extension in February.  

“Marcus Smith, what a worldie of a player,” reckoned Goode. “He has won Harlequins’ last two games after the buzzer with a try himself. You hope he is going to play for England this summer. We don’t need to play George Ford against the USA, just give Marcus Smith the reins because he is so exciting. 

“He has got game management, he has got a box of tricks that for me no other player apart from maybe (Danny) Cipriani in his pomp has probably had on the Premiership over the last however many years and he is managing Harlequins into the top four and who knows for him really because he is producing magic week in week out.”

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'Ridiculously reckless': The Rugby Pod reacts to Mike Brown's red-carded stamp and gives its verdict on Marcus Smith's latest magic

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