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Sale vs Harlequins Preview

By Quins4life
September 7 2016

Pfffft, well what did we all make of that then? We all turned up to the Big Stoop after hoping what we saw in the two preseason games wasn’t foreshadowing what we are going to see this season. But our fears came true as we scrapped to 21-19 win against the hungry, newly promoted Bristol. 

The weather wasn’t great but that is no excuse for a professional side in my opinion and it isn’t encouraging that we still haven’t learnt how to defend and not concede soft tries. All three of theirs had a bit of luck and good fortune attributed to them, and if we continue making these errors throughout the season, we might as well say goodbye to any success. However, a win is a win and an acceptable start to the season, in which winning home games is a must. I thought Marchant (bar his mistake) had a good game, as did Robshaw who doesn’t seem to have bad ones anymore. 

Now, next up is trip up to the AJ Bell Stadium to face the Sale Sharks, who are coming into this game after a surprise loss away to Newcastle last weekend. I think it is fair to say Sale were the overachievers last season after finishing, deservedly, in the top 6 and qualifying for the Champions Cup in the process and without a doubt this was because of their fantastic home form, which included only one home defeat as season. But having lost key players such as Tommy Taylor and Danny Cipriani over the summer, for me, I don’t think they have replaced them well enough. AJ MacGinty has been signed to cover flyhalf, but he leaves them short of premiership and general high level rugby experience in the position. This doesn’t mean though they don’t have any exciting players as I rate Josh Beaumont and Sam James very highly and I expect both to have great seasons. They have also bought in the highly experienced scrum half Mike Phillips, but I think he is a player we can target rather than worry about. 

Team vs Newcastle last week; 15. Byron McGuigan, 14. Will Addison, 13. Sam James, 12. Johnny Leota, 11. Nev Edwards, 10. AJ MacGinty, 9. Mike Phillips, 1. Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 2. Rob Webber, 3. Halani Aulika, 4. Bryn Evans, 5. Andrei Ostrikov, 6. Josh Beaumont (c), 7. TJ Ioane, 8. Laurence Pearce 

I expect there will be few changes to this side. I know Rob Webber is injured from last week, which will mean the experienced Briggs will come into the side. I think we could see David Seymour come in too as he always plays well against us. 

Team Selection 

The obvious change to last week’s XV is bring Brown back in as Chisholm was poor and relied on his sheer pace to get him out of trouble a few times, although it is still slightly unclear how long Brown will be out for. If not I would be tempted to give Morris a run at 15. I also would bring Collier in as he seems the better scrummager for the Sale pack, also this meaning leaving Sinckler to cause havoc in the last 20/30 minutes. With this, I would keep Buchanan in for his physicality against a big Sale pack and I would also bring Luamanu or Naoupu for more physicality but not sure who for out of Wallace and Clifford... I think Clifford. So my team would be; 

Marler, Buchanan, Collier, Twomey, Horwill, Robshaw, Wallace, Luamanu, Care (c), Evans, Visser, Roberts, Marchant, Yarde, Brown (Chisholm/ Morris if unfit) 

Well I think we are already at a crucial point in the season for our side. I know Directors of Rugby always say one game at a time but it is hard not to look ahead at our run of games after this one. It is not pretty and it’s not inconceivable that we could lose the next four, which makes this game crucial. Whilst it is wrong to underestimate Sale, the fact this is probably our easiest game out of the next five (away to a team who only lost once at home last season!!!!) means we have to throw the kitchen sink at them to ensure we come away with a win. If we play our best should we win? Yes. But this issue is we haven’t played anywhere near our best since January and that memorable victory against Saracens. Also after what I have seen so far, I have little confidence we are able to pull of a performance like that still. 

However, the quality in our side and experience still make me think that we could easily click into gear on Friday night and we could explode into action. We desperately need our experienced leaders to step up, especially Roberts, who has been underwhelming in a Quins jersey so far against his very high standards. Care won't have another abysmal game like he did against Bristol this season so I expect him to be firing. But the most important thing is we don’t allow Sale any easy points like we did against Bristol and I hope Easter ripped into them after so many errors. 

Its tough to predict this game. But after watching Sale’s performance last week, I think we certainly can get the win. We will score points against them for sure, but the question will be can we stop them. I think we will do just enough for the win but I doubt it’ll be a pretty one. 

Prediction; Sale 18 Quins 23

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Sale vs Harlequins Preview (IP Logged)
07/09/2016 19:50
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Re: Sale vs Harlequins Preview
DOK (IP Logged)
08/09/2016 09:33
Good write up, thanks for that.

Re: Sale vs Harlequins Preview
PickledPelican (IP Logged)
08/09/2016 10:33
Good piece 😀

Re: Sale vs Harlequins Preview
NicoWilson (IP Logged)
08/09/2016 11:20
Enjoyed this. Thanks

Re: Sale vs Harlequins Preview
TurndownthePA (IP Logged)
09/09/2016 06:13
Good summary of our recent problems.

Sale have always caused us problems in all their various lineups over past seasons, especially on Friday nights.

As stated in the preview, we have the potential but unlocking this has seemed elusive for our coaches.

Different squad combinations have been unable to recreate the intensity of the premiership winning season performances.

Just can't see results improving till this problem is addressed.

Re: Sale vs Harlequins Preview
Banstead Quin (IP Logged)
09/09/2016 10:53
Good write up. Low the Enya photo, genius.

Re: Sale vs Harlequins Preview
Harley Quin (IP Logged)
09/09/2016 14:14
Agree with your thoughts. Just about to set off. Fingers crossed for a win! :-)

Re: Sale vs Harlequins Preview
Adi Nako (IP Logged)
09/09/2016 17:09
Unfortunately it's just started raining in manchester, was really hopeful for firm ground this evening.

Re: Sale vs Harlequins Preview
GrubbyQuin (IP Logged)
09/09/2016 18:39
Raining in Manchester??

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