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Harlequins injured as Marcus Smith faces month out

Quins boss Tabai Matson revealed ahead of Friday’s Gallagher Premiership clash at Bath – which Quins won 19-13 – that Smith would be sidelined for at least a month with an ankle injury suffered during England’s Autumn Nations Series loss to South Africa last weekend.

That will prevent him from facing the Sharks in Durban, followed by a home date with French heavyweights Racing 92, then a Premiership encounter against Bristol at Twickenham and a trip to Northampton.

“We know he’s definitely out for a month, and then next week we’ll have a little more clarity on what those timelines are,” Matson said.

“It’s disappointing for him, but he’s a pretty tough lad and he hasn’t had many injuries, knock on wood.”

Quins have won four successive Premiership victories thanks to tries from skipper Alex Dombrandt, center Oscar Beard and full-back Nick David at the Recreation Ground.

And they moved just two points behind second-placed Sale Sharks.

“We didn’t click in the first half and we managed to get some penalties,” added Matson.

“After 80 minutes, considering the number of mauls and players we had in the bin, it’s a brave effort. And ultimately, rather lucky.

“As we ride in Europe, we knew it was important to get a serious win. People dug in tonight.

“We’re taking a team of 30 (to South Africa), flying on Sunday night. It’s exciting.

“But we really tried to focus on that Bath game because it’s so important in the scheme of the season.”

Quins finished the match with 13 players after flanker Jack Kenningham and substitute hooker George Head received yellow cards.

A 3-1 try tally in favor of Quins told its own story, however, and Bath couldn’t get close enough.

Fly-half Tommy Allan kicked two conversions as Quins triumphed, while winger Will Butt scored a second-half try for Bath, Orlando Bailey and Piers Francis each picked up a penalty and Bailey a conversion.

Given their dominance from set pieces, Quins arguably should have posted a more comfortable triumph, but four points on the road against a Bath side bolstered by a number of recent newcomers proved impressive night work.

Bath’s head of rugby Johann van Graan said: “We had chances to win.

“We were twice over their try line, and you couldn’t see a grounding of the ball. We created enough to win, but we didn’t, and that’s disappointing.

“We have to look at the technical details of why we couldn’t get the ball to the ground.

“But we were certainly tough to beat tonight, and we mixed it up with one of the best sides in the Premiership.”

Additional PA Reports

Sports standard

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