After last weeks demolition of Castleford Tigers, morale in the camp must be higher than it has been at any time so far this season. A simple trip to the big smoke to collect the same two points that the 'Quins have been gifting to the rest of Superleague for the last four months is all that stands between us and the party weekend.
McDermott has decided that there are three key players he doesn't want to risk, and has given Bailey, JJB and Peacock a well deserved weekend off active duty drafting Smith, McShane, Pitts, Hardaker and Delaney (all absent last week) into the seventeen for saturday afternoons game.
The main aim of the game will be to avoid any injuries from the nineteen of; Webb, Smith, Delaney, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Buderus, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Lauiti'iti, Kirke, Watkins, Hauraki, Clarkson, Pitts, McShane, and Hardaker.
The 'Quins are a club in crisis and would be anchored to the bottom of Superleague had it not been for the Crusaders and Wildcats having points deductions. They are conceeding an average of thirty-five points a game while scoring only ninteen and are must have zero confidence in anything that they do.
Coach Powells days must surely be numbered after a side who made a stunning start to the season just fell off a cliff in mid-March. The embattkled coach names a ninteen of; Ambler, Bolger, Clubb, Dorn, Calderwood, Gale, Golden, Bailey, Krasniqi, Melling, Burnett, O'Callaghan, Pryce, Purdham, Randall, Sarginson, Temata, Ward, and Wilkes. He's probably keeping everything crossed his side don't get another hammering this week.
Last season we won the game at The Stoop by 42-22 and
Three 'Quins to watch;
The 'Quins are a very different side from the one that we played at the start of the season and they haven't won for thirteen matches stretching back to May 6th (v. Gateshead). Their last Superleague win was on March 11th (v. Saints), and since then they have been in freefall, shipping in some big points losses.
The Rhinos also played the 'Quins in the early rounds of the cup, at Headingley, and won by a margin of 40-20. The last time we lost to the 'Quins in London was back in 2008.
The bookies have given the Harlequins an eighteen point start which I think will be pretty much on the money. I hope that we can beat them by more than that, but with three key forwards rested I'd just be happy to take the two points and keep our puch for fifth, and maybe fourth spot alive.