Marcus Smith watches as his effort slips wide. James Crombie/INPHO

Agony for Smith with late kick as Montpellier pip Quins in thrilling clash

The second leg at the Stoop was relentlessly entertaining.

Harlequins 33 (59)

Montpellier 20 (60)

MONTPELLIER MOVED INTO the Champions Cup quarter-finals by the narrowest of margins after a thrilling second leg against Harlequins in the Twickenham Stoop.

Quins out-half Marcus Smith had a late chance to kick a straightforward conversion that would have put his side ahead on aggregate, but pulled his effort wide of the posts.

Smith had been brilliant in attack as the English side scored some sublime tries in very nearly overturning the 14-point deficit they had carried into this second leg at home.

Montpellier boss Philippe Saint-André had raised lots of eyebrows by making 13 changes to his team after last weekend’s first-leg victory, but his men had just about enough to move into the quarter-finals.

Montpellier will be away to either Ronan O’Gara’s La Rochelle or Bordeaux in the next round, with La Rochelle carrying a healthy lead into the second leg of their Round of 16 tie. 

julien-tisseron-celebrates-his-try-with-yvan-reilhac Julien Tisseron celebrates a try with Yvan Reilhac. James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Harlequins, whose coaching team includes Jerry Flannery, won this second leg on a 33-20 scoreline but didn’t do enough to overturn their first-leg defeat.

Huw Jones, Alex Dombrandt, and Joe Marchant all scored tries for Quins, while wing Louis Lynagh added a brace, the second of which teed up his team for the win in the 75th minute but Smith missed with his conversion attempt from the left-hand side 15-metre line.

Ultimately, Montpellier did enough to advance as Yvan Reilhac and Julien Tisseron scored tries, while Louis Foursans-Bourdette kicked seven points and Handré Pollard added a penalty.

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