Premiership: Marcus Smith believes Harlequins are a stronger team this season

·2-min read
 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith believes his team are in a stronger position than they were last year when they went on to win the Premiership.

With three matches left before playoffs and a top-four clash against Northampton this weekend, it is all to play for before the tournament reaches the knockout stage.

Crunch time

Smith believes the pressure needs to bring out the best in his team with a large number of close games
and tight competition.

“I’m excited. We’re in a brilliant position to finish the season – a much better position than we were in last season,” he said.

“I feel we’re a much better team than last year, but a lot of our team are still very young and we’ve got loads to grow as well.

“We’re confident but at the same time we know we’ve got to up our game over the next couple of months and come up with the perfect performance and we know there’s a lot of work to do.

“The Premiership’s on fire at the minute. There are a lot of close games, a lot of tries being scored. Hopefully now the weather is getting better there will be a lot of rugby being played.

“Fingers crossed that brings the best out in us, but a lot of other teams can play as well so we know that the competition will be fierce.

“We’ll just focus on ourselves, improve individually and as a team and give it our best shot – that’s all we can do.”

Harlequins lost to Montpellier by one point in the Champions Cup, which was an agonising experience but allows their undivided attention to be on the Premiership, unlike Leicester Tigers, who are still in the European competition.

“We’ve learnt how to play in big knockout games. There was massive learning for us in that two-leg game against Montpellier and even though we didn’t come out on the right side of the result, we learnt as a team and individuals,” Smith said.

“That experience has made us a lot stronger as a team and the more experiences we have in knockout games sets you up for the next ones to come. They’re not something you can prepare for on the training field.”

READ MORE: Courtney Lawes starts on the flank for Northampton against Harlequins

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