Blogs & Opinion


Key to success

Harlequins are the pick of the Premiership sides, says Dewi

Dewi Morris Posted 16th January 2013 view comments

Harlequins are out in front in the Premiership and also leading Pool 2 of the Heineken Cup.

The fifteen tries they scored against Zebre have certainly given them the advantage but I am looking forward to seeing how the go about beating Biarritz this weekend.

I say 'beating' because if Quins want to go further in this competition then that is the type of scalp they need. Biarritz may be a pragmatic and boring rugby team at the moment - mainly because of the total upheaval after sacking their coach - but it will still be a big game for Quins. Saying that, I fully expect them to beat Biarritz and expect them to book a home quarter-final.

Hopper: developing talent for Quins

Hopper: developing talent for Quins

I do think the 47-8 score line against Connacht flattered Harlequins, especially after the spirit and fight shown by Connacht in the first half. Quins were just calm and collected and then just cut them to pieces when they saw their chance.

Harlequins have a lot of youth - Matt Hopper and Tom Casson are developing into a very effective centre partnership and everyone around them knows their job. The beauty of this side is that they never seem to waver. I am expecting big things from Harlequins this season.

What I like about Harlequins is that they look to unlock doors rather than bash them down. That is the sign of a good side.

Dewi Morris
Quotes of the week

When you play at the speed that Harlequins play you are going to have a few wobbles but they are well worth watching and I actually feel that they are not quite where they want to be yet. They are ticking over at around 80-85% and when the big games come in the Heineken Cup and the Premiership they should be able to step up even more.

The Six Nations may hamper them a bit when the likes of Chris Robshaw, Joe Marler and Danny Care go, but they have some good people to come in with the likes of Tom Guest and Karl Dickson. They also have this young lad called Ollie Lindsay-Hague who they may play at 15 in the LV Cup. He is a sevens player, a slight lad but he is phenomenal. They have people coming in all the time who can fit in to the pattern that everyone understands and enjoys.

What I like about Harlequins is that they look to unlock doors rather than bash them down. That is the sign of a good side.

Marmite

Saracens are a bit like Marmite, you either love them or loathe them. However, no matter what camp you are in, you have got to respect them. They are phenomenally dogmatic and will just not let go. They have some big guys to come off the bench like John Smit and they get a job done. They are building a winning mentality and have this 'we shall not be beaten' attitude which carries them far.

Racing Metro were pumped up and really came at Sarries but they did not yield and came away with the win; they did not buckle. They are not the most fluid of sides and do struggle to score tries but at the end of the day if they become Heineken Champions and Premiership champions then who is to say that their way is not the right way?

The win against Racing was a phenomenal performance that really put them in pole position. I expect them to get a bonus point on Sunday against Edinburgh.

Face-off!

Leicester face one heck of a challenge against Toulouse - it's a case of who blinks first. Both have big strong scrums and it is going to be a humdinger. Toulouse with all their stars are still struggling to get a half-back combination going but on their day they are simply the team to watch. And they are going to have one of those days against Leicester because if they just come and try to arm-wrestle Leicester, well I think that will play right into the hands of the Tigers.

It's a fantastic Sunday matinee and, although it could go either way on the toss of a coin, I think Toulouse will go through. There is something that suggests to me Toulouse will come and try and do a little bit more than try and scrummage Leicester off the park.

As for Northampton, I can't see them going through. They need to go up to Glasgow and get the bonus point. Against Castres their forwards were fantastic but their backs were pedestrian and predictable and that is why they did not score any tries.

Historically 18 points has not been good enough to get through and I cannot see them suddenly turning it on and getting four tries. I think their goose is cooked for this year.

Comments (3)

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

Tiger Dad says...

Spidey Jones - We must have been watching a different Ospreys v Tigers game last week. Tigers ran Ospreys off their feet - again. But for the decision by Ben Youngs to kick the ball away in the last couple of minutes Tigers would have won, despite the missed kicks from Bigger. If Toulouse turn up on Sunday then I fear the worse, as Tigers are currently struggling to breakdown good sides especially when equally matched up front. So, apart from that and Leinster (too far off the pace this year), I agree with the rest of your comments...

Posted 18:24 18th January 2013

Mick Collyer says...

I have to agree with your views on the Saints, it shows their approach with the announcement this week of signing a new prop & retaining 2 others but no news on sorely needed 10, 11,12, 14. I must take exception with your condescending comment in the Castres game that the Saints supporters don't understand the game when it comes to tactical kicking. We do understand that an accurate kick giving the chasers a good chance is a good attacking option but we also understand that continous inaccurate kicking that does not give the chasers a chance, gives the ball back to the opposition and gives them an attacking option is not a good tactic. Unless the game plan changes and quality backs are signed then the Saints will win nothing and continue to fall further behind in Europe and the premiership.

Posted 14:44 18th January 2013

Spidey Jones says...

Tolouse will have too much class for the tigers, but for the widith of a post and a weak official the ospreys would have buried them last week. Quins are a strong side with a great 8 9 10 axis and will go far this season, Sarries too limited to beat the big 3 irish and french sides and the saints are far too weak at 8 9 and 10 to win anything of note Clermont are the side to beat but toloun and leinster are the next best bets

Posted 16:09 17th January 2013

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

back to top

Other Rugby Union Experts:

Latest Posts in Rugby Union:

Dewi Morris

Losing faith?

Dewi Morris says Owen Farrell is not the answer to England's centre problems when they face Australia....

Phil Edwards

Great expectations

Defeat to Australia this weekend does not mean the end of England's World Cup hopes, says Phil Edwards...

Latest News RSS feeds

Twelvetrees in for Farrell

Billy Twelvetrees has been called into the England side for the final QBE International against Australia on Saturday.

North out of South Africa Test

Wales will be without Northampton wing George North for their final autumn Test of the year.

Rugby pays tribute to Hughes

Australia rugby team to wear black armbands against England at Twickenham as a mark of respect for Phillip Hughes

Twelvetrees relishing chance

Billy Twelvetrees is thrilled to be back in the England side for Saturday's QBE International clash with Australia.

Burgess named on Bath bench

Sam Burgess may make his debut for Bath on Friday night after being named on the bench for the game against Harlequins.

Features

Our experts gives their view on what we can expect from Sam Burgess

Our experts gives their view on what we can expect from Sam Burgess

Sam Burgess has been named on Bath's replacements bench for Friday's clash with Harlequins at the Recreation Ground and much is expected of the former rugby league star known as 'Slammin Sam'.

Phil Edwards explains why England's World Cup dreams will not be over if they lose their next two games

Phil Edwards explains why England's World Cup dreams will not be over if they lose their next two games

If England are to have any chance of launching a successful assault on the Everest that is next year's World Cup, then the widespread feeling seems to be that they simply have to win their next two games.

Pro12 Highlights

Pro12 Highlights

Highlights of all the Pro12 action, including Ulster's win over the Ospreys and Treviso's draw with Leinster.