From a four-try triumph to a public flogging was no more than a short hop, but then Bath are next up at the Rec, a beastly place to visit at the best of times.
Hence Smith's immediate and long-term concern. What rankled the former flanker was that, with Quins on the ropes after the departure of Brian Moore, Leicester failed to hammer home more points and even conceded a late try. Both of which, Smith felt, could have a critical bearing on the destiny of the league title if it comes down to a question of points difference in the finale.
Smith was certainly not pulling his punches, though the Tigers are top for now on the very points difference he referred to. Steve Hackney may have crossed the line twice, but 'Hackney should be more concerned about the tries he didn't score than the ones he did'. Poor Hackney, whose verbal lashing was preceded by a dead-leg that prevented him going the distance.
Smith said that Jez Harris, who did not miss a kick all afternoon and landed 20 points, had been told: 'Whatever you see, go for it. But the flashes must be more extended periods of play.' The squad system operated by the club has not helped in this area, Smith thought.
None of which is any consolation to Harlequins, who lost Moore with a damaged hamstring in the 34th minute. Trailing by only three points at the break, though, they then went to pieces. The absence of their captain, who misses the next game against Orrell, appeared to cause complete confusion.
Will Carling took over the overall leadership, while Jason Leonard was left to run the forwards. 'I'm not happy with the way things worked out,' was all Moore would say.
Nor should he be. 'People started to panic when he went off,' Chris Sheasby, who had made some storming drives from No 8, said. Without Moore snapping out instructions, however, ball-retention simply went to pot.
All of which enabled Leicester to bring their backs into play, Hackney benefiting right at the start of the second half when Tony Underwood raced clean away. Aadel Kardooni, Hackney again, and finally the replacement John Liley also exposed Quins, while Harris kept kicking the goals.
Harlequins: Try Thompson; Conversion Greenwood; Penalties Greenwood 2.
Leicester: Tries Hackney 2, Kardooni, Liley; Conversions Harris 4; Drop goal Harris; Penalties Harris 3.
Harlequins: D Currie; J Keyter (N Morris, 72-74), W Carling (Morris, 61-64), J Alexander, G Thompson; W Greenwood, R Kitchin; J Leonard, B Moore (capt, P Simmonds, 34), N Collins, P Thresher, T Coker, R Jenkins, C Sheasby, J Cassell.
Leicester: W Kilford; S Hackney (O Wingham, 78), D Edwards (J Liley, 65), S Potter, T Underwood; J Harris, A Kardooni; G Rowntree, R Cockerill, D Garforth, M Johnson, T Smith, J Wells (capt), C Tarbuck, B Drake-Lee.
Referee: S Lander (Irby, Wirral).Reuse content