Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care was pleased to walk away from Cardiff Arms Park with five points in what was a “real test” on Friday night. 

Quins won the match 36-33 right at the death courtesy of a Marcus Smith penalty, to ensure qualification to the last 16 of the Heineken Champions Cup  

But Care was impressed with Cardiff, who pushed Quins all the way to the very end. 

He said: “Firstly, fair play to Cardiff, I love how they throw the ball around, they’ve got some brilliant players, really tested us and at times they were dominant. 

“We had to wrestle back possession at the end, and we just said in there, it wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t our best performance, but to come here and get five points from it and a bonus point is great. 

“It was tough to play with no fans again, once you go back to having fans and then there aren’t any it’s pretty dead out there, so really chuffed the boys dug in, it wasn’t the prettiest, but we got the job done.” 

And the 35-year-old was delighted to cross for a try of his own after having one disallowed, he added: “I needed one, I’ve cut both of my arms on this pitch diving over for that try that was never given, so that was a pointless dive, so then I thought, well I need one, I need a try. 

“Ty [Tyrone Green] owed me one from last week when he didn’t quite give me the ball, but he’s going to give me one at some point. 

“It was nice to get over, nice to get another European try and help the boys to a win.” 

Quins began the game in an excellent fashion when Louis Lynagh got on the end of a Marcus Smith cross-kick, but they found themselves 14-7 down before Green scored right at the end of the first half, latching onto another Smith cross-kick. 

In a blistering four-minute period Cardiff scored three tries, leaving Quins trailing 33-19, before the Gallagher Premiership champions came back to win with the last kick of the game. 

Care put a lot of the comeback down to the forwards, who put Quins on the front foot in the second half. 

“I think credit to Cardiff, like when they came to the Stoop, they play with no fear and throw the ball around, they’ve got some hot-steppers out there and some guys that can make you look very silly and they made me look silly a couple of times,” said the former England international. 

“It’s great to play against them, we started well, a little bit patchy in the middle bit, but then our forwards, who have just been brilliant this year, dominated in the scrums which makes our job so much easier.” 

And with the scores level at 33-33, Quins could have been forgiven for happily taking the three points home with them, but they managed to return with five and qualification. 

He continued: “It was one of those, at the time, if you’re camped in your own half, you probably would say three points from this game isn’t bad, and I thought Huw Jones put a great kick down there and put the pressure on them. 

“That’s Marcus’ bread and butter, it’s nice for him to knock that over because I thought again, he was exceptional today.”