Premiership: Harlequins boss Tabai Matson praises Marcus Smith for ‘masterclass’ in Exeter win
Harlequins boss Tabai Matson heaped praise on Marcus Smith, who delivered a “masterclass” in the 40-5 victory over Exeter Chiefs yesterday.
Smith was released from the England squad last week to get some game time with Quins as Red Rose head coach Steve Borthwick has opted for Owen Farrell at fly-half for the last two Six Nations encounters.
However, the 24-year-old responded brilliantly with a stunning performance as Quins snapped a five-game losing streak.
“He can do no more”
Matson only had good to say of the young playmaker and believes “he can do no more” to warrant selection for England.
“Marcus has come in, he knows what he needs to do and he knows the game well,” Matson said.
“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.”
A Harvey Skinner yellow card opened the door for Quins, who obliged with first-half tries for Cadan Murley, Josh Bassett, Sam Riley and Joe Marchant.
The England centre would score another before skipper Stephan Lewies rounded out the scoring.
Exeter boss Ali Hepher says his team will need to reset and look ahead after a poor performance.
“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,” Hepher said.
“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.”
READ MORE: Premiership: Marcus Smith stars as Harlequins run riot against Exeter Chiefs in Big Game 14
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