Blogs & Opinion


Miles Harrison:

Most Popular Posts:

Opinion Archive:

United we rise

A united team is a winning team, says Miles

Miles Harrison Posted 9th December 2011 view comments

How much confidence will that win against Wasps give Harlequins heading into round three of the Heineken Cup?

MILES REPLIES: Quins weren't exactly short on confidence beforehand but you feel that win at Wasps proved an awful lot to those on the outside of the squad. Here is a team that clearly lives up to the oldest sporting cliché in the book: take one game at a time. Last Sunday, the temptation to look forward to the next game must have been massive with Toulouse lying in wait. But, even though some selections were made with Toulouse in mind, Quins' coach, John Kingston, insisted that there was to be no talk of what was to follow. Quins' performance against Wasps proved that they had listened to their coach.

Brown: doing his bit for Quins

Brown: doing his bit for Quins

There is a lot of talk about Quins' unbeaten record. How much extra pressure does that put on them?

MILES REPLIES: I don't think it is putting any extra pressure on them for the reasons outlined above; they are using the winning feeling to good effect. Look, at some point, Quins are going to lose, they can't go through a whole season winning every game, but they are playing a very rounded brand of rugby and proving to be lethal when they get the chance to score. Perhaps we should be thinking more about the pressure on their opponents to beat them, rather than the pressure on Quins to keep winning.

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS

Harlequins v Toulouse
8pm, Fri, Sky Sports HD1
Watch on the move with Sky Go
How to remote record

We always seem to speak about the importance of Chris Robshaw but which other players have caught your eye?

MILES REPLIES: Yes, Robshaw was excellent again last week but, aside from the captain, I have been really impressed with Mike Brown and George Robson this season and I pick out those names because they are playing well enough to force their way into England reckoning. But to single out names doesn't seem the appropriate thing to do with Quins. Nick Evans is their big star and he brings it all together as a class number 10 should, but we should not forget about the contributions of the young wingers, Seb Stegmann and Sam Smith; Joe Marler rampaging around in the loose; Luke Wallace coming into the side and looking like a hardened seasoned pro at the breakdown... the list goes on. It is a classic team effort thus far.

Toulouse have a growing injury list that has got to be a concern. Gürthro Steenkamp is going to be a huge loss for them, isn't he?

MILES REPLIES: I'm not sure Toulouse do 'huge losses'. As good a player as Steenkamp is, there is so much back-up in this squad it is frightening. This week, I sat down and re-watched Toulouse's first two games in the competition this season and those matches at home to Gloucester and away to Connacht emphasised the depth this club has. They have more options than any other team in the competition and that's why I made them my favourites to challenge Leinster for the title.

The Stoop is sold out on Friday and it should be a cracking game. Who do you think will emerge with control of Pool Six at the end?

MILES REPLIES: It is going to be great and I can't wait but I think the more pertinent question is who is going to be on top after the two games? I can see Harlequins winning this one but Toulouse leaving with a bonus, which won't be the end of the world for the French side. But, whatever happens, it is going to be special.

Comments (1)

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

Dan The man says...

Can't see us winning really. Our back line, apart from the half backs, are very inexperienced, no match for the big stars from the south of france. I'd be happy with a bonus point from both games, to give ourselves half a chance of qualification

Posted 14:35 9th December 2011

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

back to top

Other Rugby Union Experts:

Latest Posts in Rugby Union:

Latest News RSS feeds

Sheridan forced to retire

Former England prop Andrew Sheridan has been forced to retire from rugby because of a damaged neck.

Corbisiero blow for England

England prop Alex Corbisiero will miss the autumn internationals after he was ruled out of action until early next year.

Parling ruled out for England

Leicester lock Geoff Parling has been ruled out of England's autumn series with concussion.

Cruden to return to action

Aaron Cruden is set to make his return to action from the bench on Sunday when Manawatu host Hawke's Bay in the ITM Cup.

Hassler extends Ospreys stay

Ospreys wing Jeff Hassler has signed a new three-year contract that will keep him at the club until 2017.

Features

The Off Load: The best and worst from the world of rugby

The Off Load: The best and worst from the world of rugby

While Europe were busy demolishing the USA in the Ryder Cup, there was rugby from all four corners of the globe to get stuck into over the weekend.

Rugby Championship: South Africa should win battle up front, says Thinus Delport

Rugby Championship: South Africa should win battle up front, says Thinus Delport

South Africa should have the better of Australia up front but they must not allow the backs any time or space, says Thinus Delport.

The Off Load: The best and worst from the world of rugby

The Off Load: The best and worst from the world of rugby

There was loads of great rugby to enjoy over the weekend including some PRO12 upsets and some controversial refereeing.