Harlequins survive a wobble to hold off Glasgow in Champions Cup

rugby05 April 2024 21:40| © AFP
article image
© Gallo Images

Harlequins survived another second-half wobble as they beat Glasgow 28-24 in a European Champions Cup last-16 tie in the London rain on Friday.

A week after taking a 37-point lead at Bath in the English Premiership before conceding 33 straight points and clinging to a four-point win, Quins took a 21-7 lead at the break before conceding 21 straight points and only saving themselves with a late try.

"The fans are always complaining that they are always on the edge of their seats, whenever we're ahead we always let the (other) team in," flyhalf Marcus Smith told TNT after the game.

Glasgow jumped into a third-minute lead when lock Scott Cummings plunged over the line.

Quins pressed but, against a ferocious defence and with a slippery ball, struggled to take their chances.

Smith, an England international, found a way through after 24 minutes, his precise crossfield kick bouncing up into the hands of centre Andre Esterhuizen who touched down.

Glasgow paid for repeated offences when centre Sione Tuipulotu was shown a yellow card after 33 minutes. From the scrum, Smith sidestepped three defenders and scored.

With the last play of the half, Smith's lightning pass sent winger Cadan Murley over in the corner.

Smith was on fine form with the boot and converted all three tries.


But then in the second half came the Quins wobble and the Glasgow fightback.

Glasgow hooker Johnny Matthews burrowed over after Glasgow pushed Quins back in a maul from a 50th-minute lineout.

Two minutes later, Glasgow's backs cut the home defence open and George Horne touched down.

The scrumhalf landed his third conversion to level the scores. He then kicked a 59th-minute penalty to give the visitors the lead.

Harlequins prop Joe Marler received a yellow card but, despite winning two penalties close to the Quins line, Glasgow were unable to turn the advantage into points.

As Marler returned, Smith hit an immense clearing kick that fullback Josh McKay fumbled giving the home team possession 20 metres from the Glasgow line.

Quins won two penalties but opted to keep attacking and were rewarded when Sam Riley surged over after a lineout maul with four minutes left, which Smith then duly converted.

Quins survived one last flurry of Glasgow pressure to win a knockout match in the top European club competition for the first time.

"In the last two years we've fallen at this hurdle, so that's a monkey off the back," said Smith.