User avatar
By Stevie J
#23067
If our training ground can be re-opened and two London-based clubs can actually get teams together (!) then we are scheduled this Sunday to actually play a game for the first time since Pau in the Challenge Cup.

Seems very much as we will be facing a rest v rust situation. Any niggles may have cleared up in some players but they've not trained together for 2 weeks. Could be almost pre-season in its feel.

However I wonder if we will see Simmons in the mix given this break allows him to recuperate from the Rugby Championship? Could we see starting the following?;

1 Dell
2 Creevy
3 Kepu
4 Nott
5 Mahu / Mafi
6 Rogerson
7 Cowan
8 Tuisue
9 Meehan
10 Jackson
11 Parton (assume Loader still out)
12 Meakes
13 Rona
14 Hassell-Collins
15 Homer

I'm assuming Coleman and or Simmons would bench rather than be thrown straight in.
By GC89
#23088
If everyone is fully fit then I expect that is pretty close, with the only real question mark being whether Coleman comes straight in.

Big question though is Covid and which players were affected and whether there are any long-term effects.
By Florida
#23116
I was pretty certain that the previous game was going ahead, oh how wrong I was! I'm pretty certain that this one won't happen. Two London based sides both with Covid issues? Just can't see it happening. I guess we'll have to watch instagram to see if there are any pics of training at Hazelwood this week
By Margin_Walker
#23117
Yeah, I can't see this going ahead. Firstly elite sport will have to still go ahead following the announcement tonight. On balance, I think we'll be okay there.

If Hazelwood isn't open still at the moment though, I don't see how we'll be in any position to play a game at the weekend. Would love to be wrong though and actually get to watch us play.
By Florida
#23140
Elite sport all good to continue. Now we just need a team that isn't getting more positives and an open training centre
By Florida
#23170
Northampton now have further cases. It's almost as if further testing needs to be done before games are due to be played to confirm match day squads and support staff are symptom free.
By Margin_Walker
#23176
Yep, saw that earlier.

Realistically, the only fair way of doing this is getting the BT cameras in to every game and giving the old Gladiator thumbs up or down as the match day squads are read out one by one. Four points to the team with the fewest positives. Staff can be the tie breaker.

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User avatar
By Narbia
#23179
This just isn't working out any good is it? :eh:

IMHO - cancel the Lions, delay the 6N to the summer and pause the GP for at least three weeks.
By Margin_Walker
#23185
I guess the risk is that there's a very real chance of us not playing before the end of the month at the earliest if the Quins game doesn't happen.

French clubs are starting to make a bit of noise about wanting to pull out from European competition on safety grounds. Wouldn't be surprised if Agen and Pau were reluctant to play us if we also had issues impacting us this weekend.

Hopefully they've put a bit of a firebreak in place this last week, but it's hard to avoid in London at the moment, with the current infection rates.
By Florida
#23220
Times reporting we may have to call off, announcement due this afternoon.
User avatar
By Stevie J
#23227
Well Saints v Tigers has been called off due to COVID, sounds like cases in Northampton.

Guess we will hear about the test results and what if any impact on our game today.
By Florida
#23234
Pictures posted of the boys training, so looks like we're good to go.
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By shimmieandshake
#23276
I'm hoping no news is good news, in this case? Guess we might not know for sure until possible team announcements tomorrow.
By Margin_Walker
#23280
I guess we'll have to see how much off this impacts us. Fewer cases this week, but further positives released today could throw a spanner in the works

By Ruckinggood
#23306
The team is waiting on yesterday's Covid test and final approval will be given this morning but looking good - they were waiting on Quins to confirm too - in the regulators hands for now.
By TippExile
#23315
Harlequins have a post up on Twitter asking who people want to see in the team and saying team announced at midday so (fingers crossed) looks like we are good to go.

Hard to pick a team without knowing availability but hopefully similar to the team Stevie J picked at the beginning of the thread.

Would like to see Adam Coleman start but hard for him to have done conditioning work necessary with the shut down of the training facilities.

Really looking forward to the game though.

Also I thought Declan Kidney spoke really well about how tough this has been for everyone in the club and that people who complain about the awarding of points for these cancelled games should realise that clubs and players would much prefer to play the games. He also pointed out that London Irish felt they could play last week but did their "civic duty" by listening to PHE guidelines.
User avatar
By Narbia
#23326
TippExile wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:30 am
Also I thought Declan Kidney spoke really well about how tough this has been for everyone in the club and that people who complain about the awarding of points for these cancelled games should realise that clubs and players would much prefer to play the games. He also pointed out that London Irish felt they could play last week but did their "civic duty" by listening to PHE guidelines.
Yip. I though he put his words together wisely.

Edit: Quins 2/9 Favourites according to Oddschecker.
Last edited by Narbia on Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By shimmieandshake
#23329
London Irish:
15 Tom Parton, 14 James Stokes, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Theo Brophy Clews, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ben Meehan, 1 Harry Elrington, 2 Motu Matu’u, 3 Ollie Hoskins, 4 Andrei Mahu, 5 Steve Mafi, 6 Matt Rogerson (c), 7 Blair Cowan, 8 Albert Tuisue.

Replacements:
16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Will Goodrick-Clarke, 18 Luke Green, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Ben Donnell 21 Seán O’Brien, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Billy Meakes

Interesting that TBC starts ahead of Meakes. And the six/two bench split. Wonder if it's tactical or necessitated by availability. Fingers crossed Elrington's got his scrummaging head back on.
By shimmieandshake
#23331
Harlequins Starting XV
1. Joe Marler (207)
2. Scott Baldwin (24)
3. Wilco Louw (10)
4. Matt Symons (46)
5. Glen Young (26)
6. Tom Lawday (24)
7. Will Evans (27)
8. Alex Dombrandt (58) - Captain
9. Scott Steele (11)
10. Marcus Smith (92)
11. Cadan Murley (39)
12. James Lang (72)
13. Joe Marchant (95)
14. Louis Lynagh (3)
15. Mike Brown (339)

Impact Players
16. Elia Elia (58)
17. Jordan Els (7)
18. Simon Kerrod (32)
19. Hugh Tizard (6)
20. Archie White (31)
21. Martin Landajo (21)
22. Ben Tapuai (33)
23. Aaron Morris (53)

Probably good Andre the Giant isn't running at TBC all day. Intrigued to see Louis Lynagh play, also - his old man was always a good watch.
By Florida
#23333
shimmieandshake wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:00 pm
London Irish:
15 Tom Parton, 14 James Stokes, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Theo Brophy Clews, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ben Meehan, 1 Harry Elrington, 2 Motu Matu’u, 3 Ollie Hoskins, 4 Andrei Mahu, 5 Steve Mafi, 6 Matt Rogerson (c), 7 Blair Cowan, 8 Albert Tuisue.

Replacements:
16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Will Goodrick-Clarke, 18 Luke Green, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Ben Donnell 21 Seán O’Brien, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Billy Meakes

Interesting that TBC starts ahead of Meakes. And the six/two bench split. Wonder if it's tactical or necessitated by availability. Fingers crossed Elrington's got his scrummaging head back on.
I am loving the backs! Really happy to see TBC get the start in the 12, in the little time they played together he and Parton have been doing some lovely link up play, really excited to see how they get on.

Elrington has had a long period to turn his relatively poor form around, the coaches clearly think he's done that so lets see how he goes.
By SixNineOne
#23346
Looks like two pretty evenly matched teams to me, so I suspect that much will depend on how our set piece goes. The Quins set piece has been pretty inconsistent this season so it’s our chance to get the upper hand and it’ll be great to see Rob Simmons take the field. Our back line looks like it might be capable of delivering something pretty exciting if they get some front foot ball. Ollie Hoskins needs to put in a shift up against Joe Marler with the inexperienced Luke Green on the bench. Marcus Smith will no doubt try some fireworks - let’s just hope his antics don’t pay off and that Alex Dombrandt doesn’t get a decent run at us. I may be wrong, but I have this feeling that Ben Tapuai has a very good scoring record against us, too...
Tom Foley is the ref. I think he’s improved significantly over the last couple of seasons so hopefully he’ll have a good game on Sunday.
By GHA
#23547
Doing a lot of defending, hopefully we continue bending but not quite breaking for the rest of the game because a win certainly isn't out of the question...
By GHA
#23551
Very enjoyable and a good game to get back into the swing of things, shame we couldn't sneak it with Paddy's long range effort at the end (I would've gone for the lineout and set up for a DG but never mind) but good to claw back from 12 points down with not long left. Parton should be our starting 15 for the rest of the season, hopefully Mafi isn't out for too long, Donnell is going from strength to strength, Cowan isn't getting and older and O'Brien got another 20 minutes.

I think we take the moral victory too, 3 points to their 2
By GHA
#23552
I also didn't think the officials were too bad - we've had a lot worse!
User avatar
By Narbia
#23557
Really enjoyed that. I'll take the 3 points against a full strength Quins.

Onwards and upwards. :clap:
By shimmieandshake
#23559
Lots of positives. Parton especially. Albert and Rogerson again fantastic. They always are.

Excellent clutch conversion, but for that penalty at the end, it's a 10-to-15% shot for Paddy. We saw the one from 5m closer against Worcester which came up short, and that was in warmer weather. As you say, GHA, corner would've been a better shout.

On the negative side, scrum has to be sorted out. Didn't seem to be a weight thing when Donnell came on, as Donnell was on the other side, and pens started from the second minute. Difficult against Louw and Marler, but Elrington is way off it - was it maybe seven penalties conceded at the scrum? Fair enough three were at once, but that just kills you. Only reason it didn't was Quins sloppiness with their crossing and deliberate knock-ons. And to be fair to Elrington, though the problem seemed to go away when he went off, it soon came back with WGC there. Dell is becoming more and more important in his absence.

Anyway, great to get three points after the extended break. Hope we're even better after our next extended break!
User avatar
By Stevie J
#23562
Lots to like there, especially considering we were 5 points down at half time and had a try chalked off (wrongly I thought but I only ever refereed kids).
  • Parton was the standout MotM, secure under the high-ball, made at least two great breaks and a few more solid carries to give us a great platform. I liked the Homer signing and I'm glad we have him but Parton looks like he deserves a run of starts.
  • There was always the concern that with so little match time and others dealing with COVID we were going to be rusty and the scrums went as expected. Add some from Dell, Kepu, Lovejoy, Coleman, Nott and I think we win that.
  • We don't often come back to win matches. When we do, we tend to be a front runner. To claw back from 5 points down to almost win certainly tells you about the team's character.
  • I'm not sure what we will get out of O'Brien but he won us the penalty to almost win the match and made some tough carries. Stay fit, play some games and we might actually be able to see what he could bring, like Mafi (who had another good game).
  • Scoring four tries is always nice.
Now 6 clear of Gloucester at the bottom. Next two Prem games, Newcs and Glaws. Win those (and yesterdays match didn't do much to scare me from either team) and we are gliding towards mid-table respectability.
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By Florida
#23563
How were everyone's nerves from about minute 75 and especially from 79+? Mine are well and truly shot.

Happy with 3 points, lots of positives to take out of that.

We need to add a scrum coach to our priority shipping list.
By shimmieandshake
#23565
Yes, for the Gloucester game especially, we should have everyone back and, presuming it doesn't get moved, they'll lose May and Rees-Zammit (possibly others?) to Six Nations duty. We'll most likely be favourites in that, and should be putting them away.
By GC89
#23575
Hate to do this, but thought there were some pretty poor reffing decisions in there.

However, overall really happy with the three points. I found the back-end of last season really tough to watch and must say I didn't find this team particularly likeable as it just didn't feel like we were really playing for each other. However, there is now a really clear spirit (something I thought Quins noticeably lacked) and we may not be the most creative or flashy but it is good to watch us really giving it everything in the physical stuff.

I feel for Elrington as he gives a lot and clearly tries really hard in the loose but his scrummaging this season has been shocking. Sooner Dell is back the better and I would have WGC ahead of him too.

Otherwise, I agree with pretty much everything else said. I thought Donnell did really well off the bench and Mafi had a great time whilst he was on (let's hope the injury isn't serious). Parton was class at the back. Definitely his best game for us as he managed to put in some great tackles, collect all his high balls and add some spark in attack. Previously he has shown 1 or 2 of those attributes but rarely all three in one game. Very exciting. Get Dell, Kepu and Coleman into that tight five and we comfortably win that game.

Final note for Mahu. Another impressive showing and really hope the injury isn't as bad as it looked.
By SixNineOne
#23576
If I were a conspiracy theorist I’d be pointing to the fact that BT Sport are obviously in Quins’ pocket. Not only have they televised every one of their games on one of their premier channels this season, the BT Sport director was unable to summon up the footage that showed Scott Baldwin’s foot was clearly in touch just before Mike Brown’s try... :shame:
As it is, I thought it was a cracking match and I was really impressed by the resilience shown by the lads in getting back to a draw. I have no doubt that my Quins supporting friends will say that they didn’t play well, but the fact is that we defended really well and took our chances when we had them - it’s such a contrast from the sort of capitulation we might have seen in recent seasons. I suspect the wonky line out throwing was mostly down to ring rustiness, but I agree with others that the sooner we can get a top coach to sort out the scrum the better. Andrew Mahu’s injury didn’t look too pretty and I suspect he’ll be out for a while, which is a real shame because he was beginning to do some very good stuff. Steve Mafi put in a massive shift given that he seemed to be playing the whole game with a broken rib and Ollie Hoskins richly deserved his (second) try for his 80 minute performance - he looked absolutely bushed at the end.
Overall, it’s so nice to be watching a competitive team that seems to be able to defend resolutely and is beginning to find its way to the try line.
By Margin_Walker
#23587
Encouraging performance, despite the frustration of not getting over the line.

I think we are generally in an okay position. We've played four premiership games now and not been properly put away like e have been in the past and in the summer. The quality of players available to us is also hugely improved despite the likes of Naholo and Coleman not featuring. Anything we get out of the former would be a bonus and Coleman will hopefully be back again soon.

A few thoughts:

- Great to see Parton get some attention. Loved watching him play since I first saw highlights of him playing for the U18s. Lovely ball player, very quick and can beat a man. Has clearly worked incredibly hard on his defence and the fielding of high balls. He's had a few really poorly timed injuries, so has flown a little under the radar, but that 15 shirt should be his now.
- Lots of quality depth in the back row now
- Hope the injury to Mahu isn't as bad as it looks. Would be a real shame for the bloke and would definitely rob us of a bit of depth.
- Scrum is still a huge struggle. Stand a better chance with Dell and Kepu starting, but it does hold us back. Great to see Hoskins get the try on his 100th game though.
By Florida
#23643
Just been re-watching the Parton break after the club posted it on Twitter. It was undoubtedly awesome, but I hope when the team reviews it someone asks OHC what he was doing. He was setting himself up to compete but pulled out so Parton could take, absolutely spot on decision but then he proceeded to jog down field. Why didn't he go haring after him in support?
By GC89
#23652
Think that's a touch harsh on the angle I have seen. Having paused to let Parton collect the ball (who is running onto it at full speed), as quick as he is I just don't think he would have a) got close enough to Parton to offer a genuine support option or b) been able to get himself in front of the various Quins players to receive the ball. With Parton racing up the pitch, you could even say that once he decided he couldn't offer genuine support he did the right thing by hanging back so that he could field any kicks Quins might make from a turnover.
By Florida
#23657
Parton runs on at fall speed, takes it awkwardly behind him, lands badly and effectively has to restart his run from standing. At this point the Quins 11 is next to OHC and their 6 between OHC and Parton, each player is within touching distance of each other. In the end the Quins 6 re-gathers the ball. At this point all OHC has to do is run stright and give Parton an option.

Perhaps I'm being too harsh as you say, but I feel that if someone makes a break you have to make sure you help and back that up by running the support lines. Look at the amount of tries Ashton has scored just by getting on the shoulder of someone that makes a break.
By GC89
#23667
You may be right. I personally think it is a bit hard to tell from the angle the club have posted so am giving OHC the benefit of the doubt. Either way, would have quite liked Parton to back himself on the outside of Brown there, or simply recycle the ball. Great break though!
By Ruckinggood
#23721
Margin_Walker wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:39 pm
- Scrum is still a huge struggle. Stand a better chance with Dell and Kepu starting, but it does hold us back. Great to see Hoskins get the try on his 100th game though.
The scrum is a struggle at LH - Elrington has fallen off a cliff and we need Dell back. In regard to Kepu, I am not 100% convinced in that whilst he can scrum, he lacks impact around the park and will never be able to go beyond 50 mins. Hoskins has been hampered by packing down with second string LH who give away penalties. This weekend, every scrum penalty was on the LH side.
By Margin_Walker
#23747
Yeah, no doubt the issue is more at loosehead.

I've got a huge amount of time for Ollie on the TH, but he's never really been a destructive scrummager. Kepu definitely hasn't been pulling up trees around the park, but if we absolutely had to shore up the scrum, it would be him and Dell I'd start.
By SixNineOne
#23754
I agree we’re certainly missing Dell at the moment. I can see that Elrington is an asset in the loose but I can’t understand the decision to start him at loosehead. The first half at Sixways was calamitous and it was only the relative scarcity of scrums at the Stoop that stopped it going the same way. WGC looks relatively the better scrummager, so in Dell’s absence I’d start WGC and bring Elrington on as a finisher once the heat has been taken out of the scrum.
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