Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

Marcus Smith becomes youngest player to reach Premiership milestone

By Stefan Frost
Marcus Smith, Harlequins and Leicester Tigers at Twickenham Stadium on October 16, 2022 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Bob Bradford - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Marcus Smith became the youngest player to reach 100 Premiership appearances today as he led Harlequins to an important 29-13 win over Sale Sharks.

ADVERTISEMENT

The northerners were the favourites heading into the game, after opening the season with five wins from five, placing them near the top of the league standings. But Harlequins, undeterred by the form of their opponents, put in a brilliant display, spearheaded by Smith who was awarded Player of the Match for his efforts.

Prior to the game, the Londoners hadn’t won at the AJ Bell stadium since 2015, but they shook off that unwanted record, in large part thanks to the 24-point haul scored by Smith.

Video Spacer

Hat-trick hero Rosie Galligan on England’s big win over South Africa | Rugby World Cup 2021

Video Spacer

Hat-trick hero Rosie Galligan on England’s big win over South Africa | Rugby World Cup 2021

“That was the talk of the week. We haven’t had much success up here over the past few years. They’ve started the season really well. We dug deep today and the forwards gave us a good platform,” Smith said after the game.

“We haven’t fired as much as we would have liked at the start of this season so we’ve gone back to basics. But the work of the forwards has been brilliant. When it’s on we like to play.”

Smith played a pivotal role in his side’s opening try. After Danny Care made a break in the midfield, he offloaded to his fly-half who then stabbed through a beautifully weighted kick towards the sideline. The bobbling ball was reclaimed by winger Nick David who then crossed the whitewash.

Sale Sharks quickly responded with a score of their own as Sam James ran in an opportunistic try to bring the hosts level.

ADVERTISEMENT

But it was Harlequins who had the final say of the first half when Marcus Smith cut a diagonal inside line to split the Sharks defence and cross over for his 23rd Premiership try, giving his side a 17-10 advantage at the break.

The second half proved less eventful as Smith landed four successful penalties to pull Harlequins further ahead. Sale came close to scoring in the 56th minute but their attacking opportunity was squandered after an overthrown miss-pass evaded the hands of Tom O’Flaherty, meaning Harlequins ran out comfortable winners.

In 2020, Smith became the second-youngest player to reach 500 Gallagher Premiership points during a win over London Irish.

He was also the top points-scorer in the 2020/21 Premiership season with 286, clocking nearly 100 more than anyone else, and starred as Harlequins beat Exeter 40-38 to claim their first title since 2012.

ADVERTISEMENT

And now he has become the youngest player to reach the century mark for league appearances, having made his professional debut back in 2017 against London Irish.

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

0 Comments
Be the first to comment...

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

FEATURE
FEATURE How England can shatter the All Blacks' Eden Park streak How England can shatter the All Blacks' Eden Park streak
Search