Following our last two games in the Zurich Premiership which have seen us rise to a slightly inflated second in the table, this Friday sees us return to Headingley to take on Leeds in the Powergen Cup. Inflated? We have played six home games and three away, but it has still been a very promising start to our campaign.
Last Saturday's performance against Northampton was very pleasing for everyone involved, and one that we must re-produce week in and week out if we are to continue to challenge for a play off place at the end of the season.
Why did we perform so well? We had a good scrum, our line out was good both on our ball and in disrupting Northampton's, we defended very well and we looked after the ball in attack. If you can get all these aspects of your play working well, you have a very good chance of winning any rugby match. The secret, not a very well kept one, is that you have to do this consistently, week in and week out, if you want to be one of the best.
After last Saturday's win over Northampton the Physio room was empty, and again on Sunday morning there was nobody requiring patching up after their efforts the previous day. It will probably come as no surprise therefore, to hear that our Head Coach Mark Evans, will be naming an unchanged team for the clash with Leeds on Friday evening.
Simon Miall while continuing his rehabilitation form his knee injury, has taken on the role of John Kingston's line out guru and can be seen at the training ground hunched over the video screen looking at the opposition line outs for our forthcoming matches. Both George Harder and Ace Tiatia are continuing to progress from their respective injuries and can be expected to return to action soon.
Tuesday evening saw our 2nd XV continue their unbeaten run with a 31 - 6 win over Cambridge University at the Stoop. In damp, misty conditions, where the ball took on the characteristics of a wet bar of soap, the game was a little disappointing although yet again there were good performances from Ceri Jones, Laurent Gomez, Roy Winters, Luke Sherriff and Kai Horstmann. The next 2nd XV game is against the Army on Tuesday 25th November. Due to be played at Aldershot, there is an issue with the pitch and therefore this game may be moved to the Stoop. Watch this space.
The support at the Stoop last Saturday was fantastic, although in fairness there was plenty to cheer. Friday evening at Headingley will be a little different. Understandably not many of you will be able to make, what can be a six hour trek up the M1 on a Friday afternoon to Leeds, but those of you that do will be greatly appreciated by the team.
It will be a tough battle against Leeds, just as it was up there two weeks ago, but if we can build on our performance from last weekend, we should have every chance of being in the draw for the next round on Monday.
During week commencing 22nd April Harlequins will launch an innovative, new Membership Scheme which will replace the existing Season Ticket Holder Programme. Further details of the scheme will be announced in due course.