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Harlequins Preview


By Falconsfan07
March 18 2017

After a 3 week break from Premiership rugby due to the Anglo-Welsh finals, the falcons will now prepare to face 7th place London side, Harlequins. The South London outfit sits on 42 points, 6 points ahead of ourselves in 8th place, and John Kingston and his team need this win for a lot of reasons that will be discussed below.

 

The Stoop which has proven to be a fortress to us and other teams in recent years will be sold out for Saturday’s game, the Quins faithful packing in to see some quality opposition. The Falcons haven't tasted victory at the Stoop since 2011, when Alan Tait's men defied all odds to beat the Quins in the LV cup semi-final to book a place in the showdown with Gloucester. So if Newcastle were to win on Saturday, it would be their first in over 6 years.

 

Now guys... missed the rugby, it's been a long old slog of a three weeks for me, but now I can look forward to our final 5 games in the Premiership, and there is a hell of a lot to play for our team for the remainder of the season. With news coming out that the team who finishes 7th in the Premiership, who will have home advantage, will play 2 play off matches, one against 9th PRO 12 side, (which is likely to be, Connacht, Edinburgh, Cardiff or Newport) and then the victorious side form that match, will play a final game against either the 7th TOP 14 side or the 8th PRO 12 side in another separate play-off...the side that finishes 7th in the Premiership will also have home advantage for the final game, and whoever wins that, gets a place in the Champions cup, we could be in for a couple of extra games at Kingston Park come May folks... I can't wait to see how the next 2 months unfold. It would be great to break the 8+ year duck and get into the top flight of European rugby and compete on that world stage.

Anyway...A low down on Harlequins.

Harlequins cup win

Harlequins, pictured above winning the Aviva Premiership in 2012 have failed to kick on and win any trophies, since lifting the trophy at Twickenham 5 years ago.

Why they need the win...

Building Consistency
1.) I think that this is a massive game for them, they really do need to win this one, they had a good away win at Gloucester and need to show some consistency in a push towards the end of the season that could see them break back into the Champions cup after a 2 year absence. The club doesn't really have a good feel about it at the minute; just look at the fans forums and Facebook threads comments...that will tell you everything you need to know. Even more so, it is rumoured that Mike Brown and Danny Care are not happy in the direction that the club is going, Brown is rumoured to be off to Leicester Tigers at the end of the season, while Danny Care is supposedly in talks with Saracens about a move to Allianz Park.

A step closer
2. If Harlequins do get the win, they will be a match closer to a top 6 finish and will leap the Saints into 6th place and could even go to 5th ahead of Tigers should they get the Bonus point.

An unhappy atmosphere
Fair to say, John Kingston is under a lot of pressure form the fans at the club to get the players to perform away from home, the club only have 2 away wins this season against Bristol and Gloucester and have recently suffered a home defeat to the tigers in the their last home game at the Stoop.

The pressure is all on them, all their internationals will be back, Chris Robshaw & Horwill included, The Stoop will be sold out, and the fans will demand quality...what would happen if we win.
Well, one thing we do know for sure that an already rather negative Quins forum that has a thread of who they want sacked at the end of the season would go into melt down with more ''KINGSTON OUT THREADS'' than Donald Trump haters, and Kingston and Co. would likely get the sack I reckon. All the pressure is on them to put in a good performance, No one in this league likes losing to us at home, there will be no excuses for them with the squad that they will be fielding to not win this game, they have to perform.

Why Newcastle must get something out of this game.


Three on the trot...with nothing
1.) Yep, not for the first time the season, are we at risk of losing 3 premiership games on the bounce, but with no points at all from those games, with nothing to show against committed performances against Exeter & Saracens. We need to get something, just for a boost of confidence going into a huge game against Gloucester, I don't expect us to win this game, it is an extremely tough place to go, but what I do expect, as the team are professionals, is for them to be accurate and compete, to give everything for the shirt that is all you can ask.

A gain of confidence
2.) We weren't accurate enough against Exeter or Saracens who are the best sides in the country, whether it be Tait knocking on for a scoring opportunity, Takalua dropping the ball on the try line or conceding a turnover in the 22 ours or the oppositions, it's not good enough, and it will be killing our confidence, we really need a good show otherwise it could turn into a long end to the season for us.

Harlequins last 5 results


42-8 WIN AWAY @ BRISTOL IN PREMIERSHIP

22-12 LOSS AWAY @ BATH IN THE PREMIERSHIP

27-18 LOSS @ HOME TO TIGERS IN THE PREMIERSHIP

30-27 WIN AWAY @ GLOUCESTER IN THE PREMIERSHIP

24-7 LOSS AWAY @ EXETER IN THE ANGLO WELSH CUP

2 wins out of 5 games. 10 League points in last 4 premiership games.

Newcastle Falcons last 5 results

16-15 WIN @ HOME TO BATH IN THE ANGLO WELSH CUP

26-24 LOSS AWAY @ SALE IN THE PREMIERSHIP

46-31 WIN @ HOME TO SAINTS IN THE PREMIERSHIP

36-14 LOSS AWAY @ EXETER IN THE PREMIERSHIP

35-27 LOSS @ HOME TO SARACENS IN THE PREMIERSHIP

2 wins out of 5 games. 7 League points in last 4 premiership games.

The team I would like to see & changes I would make.

Back-row changes
Callum Chick has been fantastic when ever he has played for the club and looked great against Exeter, putting in great carries and swatting away quality defenders like Don Armand with great running lines. This would not be a change because Latu has been poor, I just see Chick as being a better ball carrier for us, while Latu is more effective as a link player. The reason I think we will see Chick in is to run down the 10 channel at the quins fly half Nick Evan who is not the most confident of defenders and is absolutely falling to bits, we could well see the likes of Socino, Sinoti and a big NO.8 running down that channel looking to get over the gain line.


Midfield swaps
Love what Waldouck has brought for us this season, he has gave Sinoti so much good ball in space in recent weeks and has proven a quality distributor and done some great work on the floor. For me though, I'd like to see the bigger frame of Harris in to run down that 10 12 channel, Harris looked solid against Exeter in defence so he should be a good option to contain Marchant, Roberts and Alofa/Yarde.

My Newcastle Falcons to face Harlequins-

1. Rob Vickers
2. Kyle Cooper
3. Jon Welsh

4. Calum Green
5. Evan Olmsted

6. Mark Wilson
7. Will Welch (C)
8. Callum Chick

9. Sonantane Takalua (GK)
10. Mike Delany

12. Juan Pablo Socino
13. Chris Harris

11. Verniki Goneva
14. Sinoti Sinoti
15. Alex Tait

16. Ben Sowrey
17. David Wilson
18. Ben Harris
19. Sean Robinson or Witty
20. Nili Latu or Hogg
21. Sam Egerton
22. Mike Delany
23. Marcus Watson

A Harlequins player to watch out for-

Dave Ward

Dave Ward has proven to be quality whenever he has played for Harlequins.

Always loved watching him play. Comfortable at either hooker or recently openside flanker. The proper power dwarf in the shape of Tigers and England legend Neil Back loves making a pest of himself over the ball and is a threat if you give him a sniff of a gap, he could power through you or offload the ball superbly to a support runner. He just loves having the ball in his hands, watch out for him on Saturday, whereever the ball normally is, he won't be too far away from it, top player to watch.

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Harlequins Preview
FalconsRugby.org.uk (IP Logged)
18/03/2017 20:27
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
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Re: Harlequins Preview
Monkey1 (IP Logged)
18/03/2017 20:55
Many thanks to FF07 for these previews & reports. Not just a bloody good read but also they keep the site up & running, as we need a story posting up every 2 weeks or so.

Good stuff.

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
falconsfan07 (IP Logged)
18/03/2017 20:59
Thank for sharing monkey... looks quality.

I accidentally added Delany too the squad twice, but I would Hodgson on the bench and Just give Mike a crack to show what he can do, we have nothing to lose at the Stoop and the direction that Mike brought off the bench against Saracens, I'd like to see him just go out there and play with no worries too show what he can bring. Then bring Joel off the bench in the last 20 to bring the tempo...

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
falconsfan07 (IP Logged)
18/03/2017 21:00
Quote:
Monkey1
Many thanks to FF07 for these previews & reports. Not just a bloody good read but also they keep the site up & running, as we need a story posting up every 2 weeks or so.
Good stuff.

Thanks Monkey, I really appreciate it.

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
lizard118 (IP Logged)
18/03/2017 21:39
Good stuff ff07. However, I disagree with you above in saying we have nothing to lose.
We have everything to lose, and I know we're the away team, but Harlequins are there for the taking.

If we're serious about get-crushing the top 6 then we should be going to the stoop with the intention of winning.

It's not disrespecting Harlequins, but in saying that I honestly think that this is one of the weakest Harlequins teams we're ever likely to face. I don't think they are strong as a unit.
I hope we'll be going to the stoop with our strongest team and hopefully to get 4 points.
The psychology any win gives will stand us in good stead for the games against Gloucester and Leicester.

We can't afford to take the foot off the pedal especially with losing two in a row already.We need any sort of momentum we can get. If it means winning ugly, so be it. .



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:03:18:21:47:02 by lizard118.

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
alas (IP Logged)
19/03/2017 17:00
The only realistic way the Falcons are going to get something from the game is to score a lot of tries. Therefore, Delany cannot start at fly-half. I agree Chick has been in particularly good form, but I expect him to be on the bench.

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
falconsfan07 (IP Logged)
19/03/2017 20:37
Quote:
lizard118
Good stuff ff07. However, I disagree with you above in saying we have nothing to lose.
We have everything to lose, and I know we're the away team, but Harlequins are there for the taking.

If we're serious about get-crushing the top 6 then we should be going to the stoop with the intention of winning.

It's not disrespecting Harlequins, but in saying that I honestly think that this is one of the weakest Harlequins teams we're ever likely to face. I don't think they are strong as a unit.
I hope we'll be going to the stoop with our strongest team and hopefully to get 4 points.
The psychology any win gives will stand us in good stead for the games against Gloucester and Leicester.

We can't afford to take the foot off the pedal especially with losing two in a row already.We need any sort of momentum we can get. If it means winning ugly, so be it. .

Thank you lizard! Really appreciate it.

Oh aye, I agree on the fact that these 5 games are massive for us and as competitive pro athletes, I'm sure these guys would want nothing more than to come away from a place like the stoop with 4 points. But for me, it seems a big ask considering the side Quins will have out.

I completely agree on the fact that it is the weakest Quins side that we will face, if they don't get into the champions cup this season I reckon Kingston will be in trouble... but we will have to see how they turn up first... they haven't been together for some time so the main thing for them is that they gel back together too put in a good performance against us...we shall see how they perform come Saturday... really tough place but we've had them close in recent years down there so we shall see.

Yep, three on the bounce going into a huge game with glos wouldn't be good, and if we lost to them then that would be 7th place about gone imo. Huge couple of weeks ahead...

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
falconsfan07 (IP Logged)
19/03/2017 20:51
Quote:
alas
The only realistic way the Falcons are going to get something from the game is to score a lot of tries. Therefore, Delany cannot start at fly-half. I agree Chick has been in particularly good form, but I expect him to be on the bench.

Aye I agree it's a gamble and Delany doesn't offer the threat that Joel does, just thought mike looked good against sarries and really brought some tempo to the team, as did Egerton who I wouldn't mind starting a prem game.

Aye I'm a huge fan of Chick, just want one of our best carriers running at Evans all afternoon...

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
exhooker (IP Logged)
19/03/2017 22:12
Both sides have everything to play for. It's a sell out so there will be plenty of atmosphere. I'm glad I bought my ticket early and a win is not beyond us. It is a matter of patience and taking every chance that comes our way.Exeter went through 30+ phases in the Anglo Welsh Final today. We need that sort of patience.

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
Falcons_Thunder (IP Logged)
20/03/2017 10:58
I wouldn't be taking Quin's so lightly. I expect them to have most of their international players back, with most of them playing very little last weekend apart from marler and if robshaw is back that's a hugh boost for them. And I think Quin's have only lost once at home this season

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
Benpj17 (IP Logged)
20/03/2017 11:57
Although we scored try's when mike came on against Saracens I don't think he played well at all, he still crabbed across the pitch and took the space of the wingers, JPS doesn't seem as comfortable with mike as the 10,

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
Bedlington Lad (IP Logged)
20/03/2017 12:39
Any points at Quins would be good, they are very tough to beat at home

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
falconsfan07 (IP Logged)
20/03/2017 12:44
Quote:
Benpj17
Although we scored try's when mike came on against Saracens I don't think he played well at all, he still crabbed across the pitch and took the space of the wingers, JPS doesn't seem as comfortable with mike as the 10,

Probably because the way Socino is as a player, a barrel like 12 who likes to run hard lines to a flat defence, not from deep... if you had someone like Adam Powell or Dom Waldouck outside mike, I think it would work out very well, solid distributors...

I think you could stick Delany at 15 on Saturday, although taits been exceptional he has dropped some shockers in recent weeks and having Delany at 15 may take some pressure of Hodgson at 10.

I remember seeing mike playing 15 earlier in the season against Quins and he played his best game for us imo, floated out some lovely balls to the wide channel for Socino and made some great breaks and dangerous carries...

I change me mind. This is what I would like to see Saturday aha-

1. Rob Vickers
2. Kyle Cooper
3. Jon Welsh
4. Evan Olmsted
5. Calum Green
6. Mark Wilson
7. Will Welch
8. Callum Chick
9. Sonatane Takalua
10. Joel Hodgson
12. JPS
13. Chris Harris
11.Sinoti
14. Goneva
15. Delany

Taity on the bench.

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
falconsfan07 (IP Logged)
20/03/2017 12:53
Quote:
Bedlington Lad
Any points at Quins would be good, they are very tough to beat at home

Defiantly BL, you know it's tough when you haven't won there in 7 years and a full strength team like Saracens can't get a result there, they haven't won at the Stoop in 2 years... that's why in a sense I think we have nothing to lose, going down there no one expects us to win. But that may work in our favour, we just have to go out there and start well like we did at Northampton!

Mind you they lost to Edinburgh in the challenge cup a few weeks ago, Edinburgh blew them away from the start, that's what we need to do, start well and silence the Quins fans and make the stoop an awkward place to be....

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
pityacker (IP Logged)
20/03/2017 13:29
This will be a totally different Quins that has been playing recently with internationals back at 1,3,9,11,12,15 plus at least Robshaw back from injury perhaps others and they are never easy to beat at home,it will be difficult getting anything I think.

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
AFalcon23 (IP Logged)
20/03/2017 14:30
Looking forward to it, Quins will want to finish the season strong, especially with the likes of Robshaw and the other internationals back. smiling smiley

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
falconsfan07 (IP Logged)
20/03/2017 14:45
Quote:
AFalcon23
Looking forward to it, Quins will want to finish the season strong, especially with the likes of Robshaw and the other internationals back. smiling smiley

Robshaw
Horwill
Brown
Care
Marler
Roberts
Visser
Clifford
Nick Evans back from injury

Only defeated twice at home all season... will be a very tough game, would happily take a LBP

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
aidanb (IP Logged)
20/03/2017 14:48
Let's just roll the dice and see where we get.

I like how we are playing positive rugby these days and that's a threat to Quins

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
DJMc (IP Logged)
21/03/2017 11:19
Again, to state the obvious, we have to cut out the silly errors. The team is playing a decent and entertaining brand of rugby at the moment and it does pose a a threat to any opposition but to be effective and win us games balls have to go to hand, not too high, too low or behind the receiver and most definitely caught, not knocked on.

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
Quins4life (IP Logged)
21/03/2017 12:12
Quins fans in peace. Obviously I am backing a quins victory on the weekend, but definitely not taking you guys for granted and also the tremendous work Dean Richards has done for you. In the past, we would expect 5 points from our home game against you, but I will be more than happy with an ugly 4 points with the form you've been playing with this season and because of your position in the league.

I expect quins to be more or less at full strength, with a lot of players reportedly returning from injury and international call-ups. I'd play;

Brown
Yarde
Marchant
Roberts
Visser
Swiel
Care

Marler
Buchanan
Sinkler
Merrick
Horwill
Robshaw
Clifford
J Chisholm

Ward
Lambert
Collier
Matthews / Luamanu
Wallace
Mulchrone
Evans
Alofa Alofa

I don't entirely agree with you all when you say its one of the weakest quins teams of recent years, I'd say the opposite as on paper it is full of quality. It is the consistency and control we lack sometimes. I think Quins by 10 but could be even close if we underestimate you.

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
Monkey1 (IP Logged)
21/03/2017 12:35
Quote:
Quins4life
I don't entirely agree with you all when you say its one of the weakest quins teams of recent years, I'd say the opposite as on paper it is full of quality. It is the consistency and control we lack sometimes.

I thought it a bit odd to dismiss the likely Quins team as weak, on paper the Quins squad looks decent quality. Making the team tick week after week has been the problem. If you get a quiet summer with not many players in & out you should get some consistency for next season & see a lot of improvement.

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
Adi Nako (IP Logged)
21/03/2017 22:34
I think that the biggest problem we (Quins) will face is the issue with so many returning players. We've struggled quite badly for consistency and even putting aside injured players we've still got (most likely) Marler Sinckler Care Roberts Visser and Brown. That's a big disruption that I'm sure you'll be able to take full advantage of!

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
lizard118 (IP Logged)
22/03/2017 14:22
That's the beauty of opinions on forums. Obviously I don't expect everyone to agree with my point of view, but I honestly believe this, and despite having Jamie Roberts et al, to be the weakest Harlequins team of the last 5 years.
In the end it's not just about players, more about leaders and characters in the team who want to play for each other and win a game of rugby. Five years ago Harlequins had Evans on top of his game, which can't be said now; then there was Easter a leader and a winner.

The likes of Robson, Kohn, Guest, Fa'asavalu upfront, were premiership rugby hardened and all leaders in their own right.
Other than the likes of Horwill and Robshaw, upfront you don't see the same calibre of leaders in the current Harlequins team. Yes, you obviously get talented individuals but they are not a team in the same breath as those mentioned above.

And that's why I believe this Harlequins team is the weakest of recent years.

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
falconsfan07 (IP Logged)
22/03/2017 14:38
Quote:
lizard118
That's the beauty of opinions on forums. Obviously I don't expect everyone to agree with my point of view, but I honestly believe this, and despite having Jamie Roberts et al, to be the weakest Harlequins team of the last 5 years.
In the end it's not just about players, more about leaders and characters in the team who want to play for each other and win a game of rugby. Five years ago Harlequins had Evans on top of his game, which can't be said now; then there was Easter a leader and a winner.

The likes of Robson, Kohn, Guest, Fa'asavalu upfront, were premiership rugby hardened a
nd all leaders in their own right.
Other than the likes of Horwill and Robshaw, upfront you don't see the same calibre of leaders in the current Harlequins team. Yes, you obviously get talented individuals but they are not a team in the same breath as those mentioned above.

And that's why I believe this Harlequins team is the weakest of recent years.

Well said lizard, about having leaders all over the park, they do have a sublime amount of quality, but a lot of their guys like Clifford, Sinclair, Wallace, Matthews, merchant, swiel are still pretty young... and probably don't have those leadership skills yet, exceptional talents mind... Quins will be back in the top 4 mix in a few seasons I reckon.

Lest we not forget the bowling ball 12 of Jordan turner hall and Ugo Monye... and brown, all exceptional athletes and great at communicating...

Still be a very tough game at a ground that we have not won a premiership match at in 17 years!!! I'll be chuffed with a losing bonus point.

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
falconsfan07 (IP Logged)
22/03/2017 14:45
By the way guys...

Referees for this Saturday are Tom Foley who never really gets a bad word said about him... consistent ref!

And touch judges are Hamish Smales & Adam Leal

TMO: Keith Lewis

Saturday can't come quick enough, I've missed the premiership!

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
Monkey1 (IP Logged)
22/03/2017 20:13
Quote:
falconsfan07
Referees for this Saturday are Tom Foley who never really gets a bad word said about him...

I bet he does on the Bristol message board. If he has ever refereed a game that they lost he will be the worst referee in history, along with all the other referees who have played a part in games that they have lost, they are all the worst too.
(Sm105)

 
Re: Harlequins Preview
London_Falcon (IP Logged)
23/03/2017 15:59
The four of us will be in the South Stand (amongst our Quins season ticket holding mates) with our Falcons shirts on making as much noise as we can. Hopefully see some of you there!

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