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Remembering the dark days of the Quins

July 16 2020

It was 30 April 2005 and a crunch clash between Harlequins and Sale Sharks took place at the Twickenham Stoop. The Quins needed a win to survive. 

As it was, the capital club went down 23-22 to Sale Sharks, with a last-minute penalty-goal from fly-half Jeremy Staunton going wide of the posts. For the Quins, it was their first time outside the top flight for 18 years. But, just how did they get in that predicament to start with?

A dreadful season in terms of points

Bottom of the pile with six wins from 21 games heading into that final decider against Sale and one could say that the Quarters deserved the drop. They finished that season with nine losing bonus points - the highest in the Premiership by two. 

Despite that, the Quins had a points difference of a mere -43. That was better than all of the sides above them in the table up to fourth position. Even fifth-placed Saracens finished the 22-game season with -44. Whilst their loss count was heavy - 15 from a possible 22 games - nine of those games saw the Quins lose by less than seven points. They just could not get over the line, and, for that they paid the ultimate price - relegation.

In fact, just nine points separated sixth all the way down to 12th with Quins relegated on 38 and Gloucester sitting pretty in sixth with 47. Getting relegated on that total was incredibly harsh too, especially as the relegated side from the year before - the Rotherham Titans - failed to win a game all year and were relegated with just three points.

You can’t even say that such a catastrophic season had been coming either as the capital club had finished sixth in 2004, qualifying for the Heineken Cup after being tipped to do so by sites like Casinosnz online casino.

Temporary stay

For all the tears and anguish on that final day in April, the Stoop welcomed back Premiership rugby in 2006 as the Quins destroyed their Championship opponents in their short stay in the second tier.

Indeed, they won 25 out of 26 games with just one loss coming against Exeter Chiefs. 121 points were accrued - 20 more than second-placed Bedford Blues. 

Top-flight stability

Quins fans had no reason to be worried upon their return either; the Quarters ended up with a mid-table finish in the 2006-07 season and were play-off semi-finalists two years later.

Of course, being outsiders of 25/1 with to reach the Premiership final before this season began, another dark season as that of 2004-05 seems far away at present. But teams must always be on their guard.

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Remembering the dark days of the Quins
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