"LOUD NOISES! I love lamp!!" - Joe Marler delivers again after Harlequins clinch title
"Is that mine? About time! Cheers man, I've been waiting for that for ages."
The legend of Joe Marler has grown even more over the past nine days.
Last weekend, Harlequins arranged for a helicopter ride so he could attend the birth of his fourth child, and then get over to Bristol to help beat a scintillating Bears team in extra time.
Loosehead props are not supposed to play beyond 60 minutes any more, but Marler is the exception to most rules you can fathom. On he went into extra time as Quins beat Bristol in extra time after coming back from 28-0 down.
At Twickenham, this evening, Marler was at it again. Harlequins and Exeter Chiefs swapped and hopped the lead like a piping hot spud, but Rob Baxter's side looked to have another league crown in the bag when they led 31-26 with 10 minutes to go.
Harlequins with responded with two late tries and when Marcus Smith converted the second of those from the touchline, after Louis Lynagh's stunner in the right-hand corner, that was surely it. Well...
Stuart Hogg grabbed one back, on 78 minutes, and Quins just need to hold on for the final two minutes and try keep Exeter at bay. Chiefs went through seven phases but lost the ball forward and who was there, on 79:48, to mop up? Joe Marler.
He pouched the ball and did not panic. Trundling into contact but presenting clean ball to his scrumhalf, Danny Care, Marler was there at the death as Quins secured an unlikely yet much deserved Premiership title.
At the conclusion of a 40-38 thriller, Marler delivered again with a cracking post-match chat. Asked how it felt now being a two-time league champion, the man-of-the-match told BT Sport's Sara Elgan-Easterby:
"Ah, good. It sounds better than a one-time!
"I appreciate it. I've taken in every single moment today. At 21 [nine years ago], I didn't have a clue what I was doing, at anything, and I can't really remember anything. I remember it being a journey, but this is another level.
"I'm so grateful... [It's so loud] I don't know what I'm saying. Loud noises. I love lamp!"
Asked what had changed in this Harlequins team, Marler joked that he could not go through it all as the interviewer was 'on the clock' but said the group of players had formed a real bond.
"The love for each other is massive," he declared. "We started to believe in what we're about, and in what we want to be. We don't do it the easy way - what happened at the end there?!
"Dommers [Alex Dombrandt] goes, 'Boys, we got a clean exit'. Then it was like, 'Oh let's just leave the ball to Nowellsy just so [Exeter] can score under the sticks - just so the fans can cheer or something!' It's crazy!"
— Rugby on TNT Sports (@rugbyontnt) June 26, 2021
Some man for one man.
If the British & Irish Lions need a loosehead at any stage of their tour to South Africa, one has to imagine Marler is top of the reserve list.