Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith made two try-saving tackles in his team’s defeat by Northampton

Marcus Smith makes TWO try-saving tackles

With three minutes on the clock Marcus Smith had made two try-saving tackles in Harlequins’ Gallagher Premiership match against Northampton.

The first was on Saints winger Tom Collins as he broke out wide in the opening seconds, with Smith’s intervention five metres out surely saving a try.

A couple of minutes later Northampton worked the ball wide again and this time Piers Francis found space on the wing, but Smith was on hand yet again to put the centre into touch just metres from the try-line.

Two tackles, two try-savers. You can watch the first one here…

Ben Ryan, the coach who guided Fiji to sevens gold at the Rio Olympics and is a Rugby World columnist, was clearly impressed by the tackles.

Ryan is tipping Smith to make England’s squad for Japan 2019, tweeting…

In the end those two hits didn’t stop Quins losing their second game of the Premiership season 25-18 but they certainly helped to keep the score respectable and made sure the game was competitive.

Saints may have got the win but Quins outscored them two tries to one, Danny Care and James Laing crossing for the visitors while England captain Dylan Hartley came off the bench to score the hosts’ only try.

Related: Meet rising star Marcus Smith

New Quins head coach Paul Gustard was clearly disappointed with the result but he had pride in the performance and the fighting spirit his team showed in taking the game to the final whistle (the visitors had a chance to draw level as they pushed for a try from a five-metre scrum in the closing stages).

Gustard also praised Smith’s effort in making those try-saving cover tackles, saying: “One thing Marcus has always had is courage. He’ll never shy away from trying to make a tackle. We put ourselves sunder pressure at the start of the game and Marcus was the first to get back. And he chased down a winger. Last year Zach Mercer (the Bath No 8) chased down Marcus!”

Smith, who is still only 19 and has been part of the wider England squad, impressed with his mature performances for Quins last season and looks to have started this campaign in decent form too.

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