The England the fly-half had scored four minutes to complete and scored the test he turned around, confirming that his team had entered the round of 16 in the tournament through the final whistle.
The Gallagher Premiership players looked to have paid a higher price thanks to captain Alex Dombrandt’s second yellow card.
Cardiff turned the game around – played behind closed doors at Arms Park – on his head as England international Dombrandt shut down, trying three times in quick succession.
But Quins dug deep as Smith added an early try of Louis Lynagh, Tyrone Green, Luke Northmore and Danny. Care while Smith pushed for four turns with a 16-point haul penalty.
Wing Owen Lane led the Cardiff route, hitting twice while Wales head coach Wayne Pivac looked, James Ratti, Dillon Lewis and Corey Domachowski scored again and flew halfway through Jarrod Evans adding four turns.
Cardiff, who was hit by the absence of players in their opening two European games before Christmas, was under pressure when Smith took half a break twice, and it came as no surprise when he made the opening attempt just six minutes later.
Cardiff stretched out defensively, and Smith’s push was caught by Lynagh, who finished impressively before Smith’s turn to open the scoring with seven points.
But Quins were stunned by Cardiff’s equalizer just five minutes later when Lane was able to make an attempt that was due to his strength and failure.
Evans’ turn put Cardiff at a good level, and he hit again at the end of the opening quarter after Rey Lee-Lo appeared in the middle, Adams continued, then Ratti came down close.
Evans ‘second successful turn made Quins’ opening chance change, and Cardiff went on to play forward rugby, led by Lee-Lo.
Quins, however, persevered as their forward players approached halfway through, and hit after Cardiff Dimitri Ahip defender was jailed for felony criminal misconduct.
Cardiff strongly defended themselves, but it was disallowed when Green entered the final to test his team, and although Smith stopped trying to turn around, Quins returned to the race on a 14-12 adrift.
Smith and the company decided to hit it again just a minute after the start, after a good shot in the air and a half of the flies were collected by Joe Marchant, Care before jumping between the pillars.
But the interest rate was reported as Care was offside, and despite a major loss to Cardiff, he was soon terminated by a very good job by Smith, who started a conspiracy that ended with Dombrandt issuing a ticket to Northmore.
Cardiff swung on their heels, however they reacted strongly to Dombrandt being handed yellow cards in the Quins lineup, Lewis tried a third time and Evans’ turn put his team back in front.
Quins were found everywhere, and two more attempts followed in a row as Lane finished very well in the corners, then Domachowski scored after a spectacular walk from a distance.
Evans reversed Cardiff’s fourth attempt, leaving the Quins 12 points behind in the final.
He had to score goals close to reviving the winning streak, and it was Care who provided, looking after Cardiff’s defense, and another Smith turn-off reduced the center-back finish.
Hooker Kirby Myhill became the second Cardiff player to receive a yellow card as the clock went down, and Quins pitched camp within 22 Smith opponents before showing his class on a try, turn and penalty to finish late in the game.
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