Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Eye spy - Quins slip up at Tigers

Here's the latest intelligence dossier compiled by our secret agent after Harlequins' defeat at Welford Road last Friday evening.


TARGET - Conor O'Shea's Harlequins

WHO, WHEN, WHERE - They played Leicester Tigers last Friday in the Premiership.  Leinster are set to play Quins in back-to-back ERCC Pool 2 matches in December.

OFFENCE -  In wet conditions it was mostly a territory game from both sides and Leicester were simply better at it.  Quins' pick and go game in latter stages was impressive but it was too little too late.

DEFENCE - Vulnerable to quick passing along the line; this led to the early Scully try but to be fair it was the only time the Tigers crossed.  Not surprisingly Robshaw led the tackle count with 14, lock Matthews had 13.

SCRUMS - Conceded front row pen in 1st scrum; shove got better when sub hooker was on. 

LINEOUTS - Robson best option (has lineout calls written on special armband!), got decent front foot ball off their own throw early on but lost starting hooker Gray after just 17m; sub Ward wasn't the best with the darts.

BREAKDOWN - Robshaw did his best to disrupt Tigers' front foot ball but had little support in that key area though it improved in final quarter.  12 turnovers conceded in total.

DISCIPLINE - Little niggly technical penalties kept thwarting any progress made.  Final margin should have been wider as Quins shipped 9 kickable pens but Owen Williams missed 4 of them.

Hopper - superb try-saving tackle on Goneva

Brown - Not his best night. Dropped a couple of high balls and put a kick out on the full towards the end when Quins still had a sniff

Robshaw - saw him pick up the ball and intentionally run AT Brad Thorn more than once; speaks volumes about how much he means to Quins

Evans - Technically proficient as ever

Marler - For a skipper he always strikes me as easy to wind up, but he did show some leadership esp in the loose

Wallace - got better at breakdown as match progressed

Easter - Was he even there? Teamsheet said so.

Dickson - late call up for "Daddy" Care,  showed some enterprise, got the Quins try

VERDICT - With Brown & Care on the park there will always be the chance of something being made out of nothing and Evans can kick the goals to keep ground game ticking over nicely but from what I have seen this season the best Quins can hope for from Europe is a 7th or 8th quarterfinal seed.


NEXT WEEK - We'll have our spy watching the RCC Pool 2 opener Quins v Castres to check out the Top14 outfit in particular but we also had him watching Wasps play Bath last weekend and we'll include his report in our Leinster preview this Friday.


Taken by JLP from RDS press box on Nov 16, 2019