"Stade Francais could go all the way" - no it's not Nick Mallett saying this but NEC Harlequins Head Coach Mark Evans, who was mightily impressed with the Parisiennes victory at the Stoop in the second round, first leg match in the Parker Pen Challenge Cup on Saturday (7th December 2002).
"They were the most disciplined French side that I have ever seen," said Evans, who many would say has seen it all in his various guises as coach and Chief Executive in over 20 years in the game.
"I don't know what the penalty count was but we didn't get very many. We had a couple of kicks early in the first half that we kicked for the corner. But we think that we are good at it, so you've got to take your chance."
"We did not have our regular goal kicker playing either, so the chance of knocking them over is limited as well. But I wouldn't disagree with those, I thought they were good decisions."
"Stade impressed me collectively, which is something that you don't often see. I think you can see Nick Mallett's influence. I thought their lineout defence was excellent, probably the best we've played against this year, and I thought that their collective defence around the fringes was very good."
"I was looking forward to seeing (Fabien) Galthie play, but their back up scrum half was good, particularly in the second half when he played very well."
"They are a good lineout driving side up front. They've got a good scrum, which I thought was very interesting, that rocked us a bit for a ten to 15 minute patch. We came back at them a little bit in the second half, but they are a good side aren't they?" ventured Evans, with an opinion that no-one would disagree with.
"Look at their roster - they've got 23 internationals on their books. They are a multi-national, although predominately French side, playing in a very structured way which is a very powerful combination."
"You could look at the other French sides in the competition, but I'll say that they will take a bit of beating. But rugby is a game of momentum. We started well and we didn't score in the first ten minutes when we had chances."
"It's easy to sit here and say it could have been different, but I really think it could have been, and they looked to me like a very well organised side who came to basically get an away draw, and they suddenly found themselves with the wind 17-0 up away from home, against a side that is going to have to chase it, which is a fantastic situation to be in."
"Now they've got a home draw to come - all credit to them because they took their chances. I think they had three and they took two; two we created for them and one they created on their own, which we just about held them on."
"We probably created three or four and we didn't convert any of them, and at the highest level that is the difference."
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.