Your rugby evening headlines for Saturday, April 16.
Smith miss puts Quins out of Europe
Tabai Matson says Harlequins will not be blaming England star Marcus Smith for their agonizing Heineken Champions Cup exit against Montpellier. The Quins fly-half, who also had a try disallowed, missed a straightforward conversion of wing Louis Lynagh’s 75th-minute try in a 33-20 round-of-16 second-leg victory at Twickenham Stoop.
And it meant the English champions suffered a 60-59 aggregate defeat in their quest for the first European Cup quarter-final place since 2013. Quins, 14 points adrift after last weekend’s first leg in France when they trailed 34-0 at one stage, looked on course to underline their status as comeback kings, but the top 14 league leaders Montpellier prevailed.
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“He (Smith) will be disappointed like all the players who have really high standards,” Quins senior coach Matson said. “It will hit him, but we will play Leicester next week. Our Europe is over, that is the big thing, and that is gutting and it is how fast you bounce.
“As with all the guys that touch the ball right now, they get a bit of leeway because the margin of error is really hard.” You don’t have to tell someone they missed a pass or missed a goal-kick. They know.
“It’s not just him. He was there for the winning of the game at the end, but you can’t put the blame down to him.” We probably had three chances in the first half that we missed to get the scoreboard ticking over. “
Coach resigns after shocking allegations
New Zealand Women’s head coach Glenn Moore has resigned from his role after allegations against him prompted a review into the team’s culture.
Hooker Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate alleged that critical comments about her made by Moore led to her suffering a mental breakdown. She also says that anger management counseling has been required and that she “ended up going crazy”.
The review found that her concerns “were not isolated and some other players (particularly Maori or Pasifika players) had either experienced similar behavior by a number of members of management (of ‘favoritism’, ‘ghosting’, cultural insensitities), or had witnessed it. “
Initially Moore was to continue in post after the review but he has now left his job, although he refutes the claims.
“I did not agree with the allegations she made, and they were misleading,” Moore said in a resignation statement.
Warburton names ‘one of the best sevens in the world’
Sam Warburton has been purred over Ireland openside flanker Josh van der Flier, crediting him as one of the best No.7s in the world at the moment.
Van der Flier was in action for Leinster during their Champions Cup clash with Connacht on Friday and had a big impact on the match. He was heavily involved in the build-up to Tadhg Furlong’s try and caught Warburton’s eye as he was commenting for BT Sport.
“That man Josh van der Flier again, making yards. It’s not an understatement (sic) to say Josh is one of the best 7s in the world, and he’s been for some time,” he is quoted as saying by SportsJoe. “He’s putting in big performances week after week and playing at such a high level with real consistency.”
Leinster won the tie 82-41 in aggregate and advanced to the tournament’s quarter-finals.