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Harlequins player ratings: Backline fails to click as Smith chooses to trust boot instead

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Sunday Dec 24, 2023

Harlequins arrived at Bath’s recreation ground on Saturday as underdogs for the first time in many years. Bath have been flying this season, whilst Quins have found themselves tottering around the middle of the table.

The expectation met reality as Bath came away with all five points in a 25-17 victory, Despite the christmas feel on the Recreation Ground, with ‘Feliz Navidad’ blasting on the speakers, the Twickenham based side were not able to play their joyous free-flowing rugby that we’ve become so accustomed to over the years.

Instead, we witnessed a Harlequins side struggling to click, choosing instead to trust in the boot rather than those around them.

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Check out our player ratings below:

Harlequins XV:

1 Joe Marler – 4
Not his day, looked off the pace and out of touch. Subbed off after 50 after a very out of character display.

2 Jack Walker – 7
Held well in the scrum and finished with a classic hooker lineout try.

3 Will Collier – 6
Solid, no major points.

4 Joe Launchbury – 6
Looked after the ball well with secure carries. A vital part of Quins scrum.

5 Stephan Lewies – 6
No issues, did his job, nothing spectacular.

6 Chandler Cunningham-South – 6
Made some important carries towards the start of the game. Faded away as game continued.

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7 James Chisholm – 8
An impressive performance from the back rower. Made a big early hit to set the standard, then broke line with opportunist tap and go shortly after. Continued in the same vein throughout the match.

8 Alex Dombrandt (c) – 5
Early shanked pass, struggled to make an impact for the rest of the game.

9 Danny Care – 5
Yellow card for diving on the ball in the first half leading up to Ojomoh’s disallowed try. Didn’t have his normal zip about him, will be slightly miffed by this performance.

10 Marcus Smith – 8
A trademark show and go to counter Russell’s magic was the start of the tic-tac that would dominate the game. Smith dictated play well, however kicked too much rather than trusting his outside men. Could be an operational issue rather than individual, but if not, then his decision making isn’t quite matching his talent. Still a quality performance despite this.

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11 Louis Lynagh – 6
Quiet showing, but no issues.

12 Andre Esterhuizen – 8
The big South African displayed sharp hands on multiple occasions and took the ball to the gain line well. He was, however, pinged for a couple of silly infringements when Quins had the advantage. Was everywhere.

13 Will Joseph – 5
Should have taken early chip to hand. Didn’t have a terrible game, but wont be one that he remembers with fondness.

14 Nic David – 7
Footwork proving why he ‘s become somewhat of a regular fixture.

15 Tyrone Green – 6
Needless pen given away from early hit when he kicked the ball dead from own half. Made up for previous mistake later with quality 50/22. Trademark footwork made him a devil to deal with.

Replacements:

6 – Bath took a wider lead when replacements arrived, Quins just didn’t have the same x-factor.

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