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Harlequins 2014/15 Thread

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Post by Sam Mon 18 Aug - 14:10

First topic message reminder :

Squad for 2014/15 Season:
Hookers: Rob Buchanan, Joe Gray, Dave Ward
Props: Will Collier, Paul Doran-Jones, Mark Lambert, Darryl Marfo, Joe Marler (c), Kyle Sinckler
Locks: Charlie Matthews, George Merrick, George Robson, Sam Twomey
Backrow: Chris Robshaw, Joe Trayfoot, Luke Wallace, Jack Clifford, Nick Easter
Scrum Half: Danny Care, Karl Dickson, Sam Stuart
Fly Half: Ben Botica, Nick Evans
Centre: Tom Casson, Matt Hopper, George Lowe, Jordan Turner-Hall
Wing: Ugo Monye, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Charlie Walker, Tom Williams, Marland Yarde
Fullback: Mike Brown, Ross Chisholm, Ollie Lindsay-Hague

Players in: Asaeli Tikoirotuma (Waikato Chiefs), Marland Yarde (London Irish)

Players out: Tom Guest (London Irish), Sam Smith (Worcester Warriors), Samoa Maurie Fa'asavalu (Oyonnax), Nick Kennedy (retired), Tim Molenaar (London Welsh), Nic Mayhew (North Harbour), Paul Sackey (retired)

Pre-season:
FC Grenoble - Harlequins 16/08/14
Harlequins - Pau 23/08/14
Glasgow Warriors - Harlequins 23/08/14

Come on you Quins!!!  Fingers Crossed

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Post by yappysnap Wed 24 Dec - 23:18

That would be a treat

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Post by yappysnap Tue 30 Dec - 16:34

Are we seeing an upward curve in Quins form now?

Yes we lost on the weekend but it was still a far better performance then the majority so far! Just need to sort out the set piece and get Robshaw back now!

Next season we must looking at getting Lowe back to 13 (if that is actually his favoured position now) and getting a 12 that can support him.

We need better second choice prop then lambert too as we're getting routinely munched at scrum time without Marler.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue 30 Dec - 17:16

Matt Scott is out of contract with Edinburgh at the end of the season. He'd make a decent foil for Lowe, not that I'd encourage him to leave.

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Post by Poorfour Tue 30 Dec - 17:39

To be fair to Lambert, Mr Barnes has an issue with him, but he has gone well in most other games this year. He's had a fairly long innings though and the question is whether Marfo can be brought through quickly to take some of the strain.
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Post by ChequeredJersey Tue 30 Dec - 18:54

yappysnap wrote:Are we seeing an upward curve in Quins form now?

Yes we lost on the weekend but it was still a far better performance then the majority so far! Just need to sort out the set piece and get Robshaw back now!

Next season we must looking at getting Lowe back to 13 (if that is actually his favoured position now) and getting a 12 that can support him.

We need better second choice prop then lambert too as we're getting routinely munched at scrum time without Marler.

We definitely are. We were far from perfect, but at least we can score tries again and I think we would have beaten most APs sides if we played like that
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Post by ChequeredJersey Tue 30 Dec - 18:56

Think we should aim for Devoto or possibly Tom Taylor/Godwin at 12 if they are out of contract
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Post by yappysnap Tue 30 Dec - 19:23

Devoto or Scott would be good, Devoto could be a real class act and iirc Scott was very good for Scotland in the past.

As to lambert I just feel he's a third choice squad player who's playing more then he should, perhaps Marfi will come good but we can not afford to hang around as the other top sides get bigger and better packs.


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Post by ChequeredJersey Fri 2 Jan - 19:04

On the Offy



Harlequins has announced the squad to play London Welsh in Round 12 of the Aviva Premiership on Sunday at the Kassam Stadium, kick-off 14:30. The match is not being shown on TV.

There are five changes to the squad which played Northampton Saints last week.

In the back three Ollie Lindsay-Hague is named alongside Aseli Tikoirotuma, with Karl Dickson starting at scrum-half.

Joe Gray and Sam Twomey are the two changes in the forwards, starting at hooker and lock respectively.

Among the replacements, Ben Botica and Tom Williams will look to make their return from injury.

Referee: JP Doyle

Harlequins Team
15. Ollie Lindsay-Hague
14. Marland Yarde
13. Matt Hopper
12. George Lowe
11. Aseli Tikoirotuma
10. Tim Swiel
9. Karl Dickson

1. Mark Lambert
2. Joe Gray
3. Will Collier
4. Charlie Matthews
5. Sam Twomey
6. Joe Trayfoot
7. Jack Clifford
8. Nick Easter©

16. Rob Buchanan
17. Darryl Marfo
18. Kyle Sinckler
19. George Merrick
20. James Chisholm
21. Danny Care
22. Ben Botica
23. Tom Williams
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Post by yappysnap Fri 2 Jan - 22:14

Good to see Williams back!

We simply must get a bonus point win here, if we don't then that's a big worry.

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Post by yappysnap Sun 4 Jan - 14:58

7-0 to Welsh at the moment, could we be the first team to lose to them?

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Post by Ozzy3213 Mon 5 Jan - 18:29

Rumour going around that we've signed Joe Trayfoot from you for next season. Any of you Quins fans heard anything?
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Post by ChequeredJersey Mon 5 Jan - 20:09

No but we have backrow strength so possible. Would be sad to see
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Post by yappysnap Mon 5 Jan - 20:50

Would be really sad to see him go as he's looked very competent in his first full season for us and without him we're lacking big ball carriers.

He's a good tackler and tight in carrier

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Post by propdavid_london Tue 13 Jan - 13:47

Well that was a surprise result on the weekend!
I had a feeling that Quins may have turned a corner after the Saints game. Thats 2 good games on the bounce now, mostly cutting out the silly errors and being more clinical.
Botica showed some real control that we've been missing. Big games from Care, Easter and Brown - but the real positives for me was the continued improvement from Clifford and Lowe after injury. That, and Yarde actually showing a bit of class - hopefully he is finally starting to gel a bit.
Massive game against Wasps next.

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Post by ChequeredJersey Tue 13 Jan - 14:12

We can do this
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Post by yappysnap Tue 13 Jan - 19:22

Our run in looks pretty fricking tough, I expect us to make top6 but I think top4 may be a result too far.


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Post by propdavid_london Wed 14 Jan - 13:08

It isnt the easiest of runs - Could be worse though

Away Wasps
Home Exeter Chiefs
Away Northampton Saints
Home London Irish
Wembley Saracens
Home Gloucester Rugby
Away Sale Sharks
Home Bath Rugby
Away Newcastle Falcons

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Post by propdavid_london Mon 26 Jan - 10:00

Well done Quins, needed a performance after that Wasps game and you did all you could to stay in the competition.
Sadly it wasnt enough.
Focus now on the Prem.

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Post by yappysnap Mon 26 Jan - 10:38

The problem is we've been here before Prop! We were all saying well done after the Leinster game, or the Tigers or Saints games. But the team then go and follow those up with abject performances.

I'll reserve my praise until we put in two or three good performances on the bounce, away to Castre was too little too late.

Top 6 is now the focus and it's going to be tough!

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Post by propdavid_london Mon 26 Jan - 11:31

Yup we have. The whole season has been too inconsistent.
Top 6 s going to be tough - especially with Care, Brown, Marler and Robshaw and now Easter out for a while.
But on a positive, Clifford is looking to be coming into some great form.
Lambert is also in the form of his career it seems and making an impact.
NeV is controling things a lot better than Swiel did.
How far away is Wallace from injury?

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Post by yappysnap Mon 26 Jan - 23:09

Not sure about Wallace, hopefully he'll be back to take over from Robshaw. But to be honest a 6. Trayfoot 7. Clifford 8. Easter combination could do pretty well too

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Post by HammerofThunor Tue 27 Jan - 14:33

Just seen that Collier is out for the rest of the season.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/31002477

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Post by yappysnap Tue 27 Jan - 14:52

That's a real shame, collier was going well for us before the injury. Means that until Syncklers fit we only have Marfo on that side. lambert is the other option bit now Marler's away well need him to play loosehead. Hhmmm

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Post by propdavid_london Thu 29 Jan - 8:50

Unless Easter stays with England - which is possible if they dont see Haskell as no.8 cover.
Its chucking Marfo in at the deep end a bit but, like with Sinkler it could be the making of him.

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Post by yappysnap Thu 29 Jan - 10:02

Let's hope so, especially as PDJ is off at the end of the season, I can't see him making a particular effort for us now if he ever gets fit. What a waste of time he was.

Marfo has the size for propping, and Kingston worked wonders on Johnston before he betrayed us all...

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Post by yappysnap Thu 29 Jan - 10:06

On a side note if we do end up either missing out on top 6 or just scraping in this season, would any one like to see a shake up of the coaching team?

To my mind we have a lot of good players and realistically aren't going to get many (bar a centre and prop hopefully) that'll be better then the current ones. But we could hopefully splash out for a new coach to work under CoS that may make a difference.

Quins attack in particular has gone backwards over the last three seasons, and it's been really poor this season in particular. Some of that is down to injuries but even more it's down to poor organisation and basic skills, the passing has been dire between the backs. The pack and the backs don't link up well like they used to, and we very rarely if ever give space to our wingers to attack.

I'd like to see a new backs coach come in, to work specifically on the attacking skills of the players.

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Post by yappysnap Wed 11 Feb - 10:20

Just read that Robson is now leaving at the end of the season, seems an odd move especially as it's to Oyannax!

We really need to bring in some more players before the next season.

Right now we've lost:
Paul Doran-Jones
George Robson
Joe Trayfoot

Last season we lost and didn't replace:
Kohn
Kennedy
Molenaar

Out of form and not looking like they'll find it:
JTH
Casson

Injured long term:
Collier

And then Dickson is potentially retiring at the end of the season.

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Post by propdavid_london Wed 11 Feb - 11:33

Thats interesting news...bit surprising. Its been a long time since he has been on top form but he has been consistent for Quins.
I guess it might have been on the cards for a while with the news that Horwell is coming in. But Charlie Matthews still hasnt really stepped up yet.
The youngsters arent too bad though - Merrick, cant remember the other ones name! And are we still planning on shunting Minty into the 2nd row and giving that one another shot?

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Post by propdavid_london Wed 11 Feb - 11:38

The Quins squad is looking a bit thread bear! They do need to go out and do some serious recruiting. I know thats not normally their policy (as in promoting from academy) but in this instance I think they need to look outside a bit.

Top of the shopping list for me would be -
A big ball carrying centre - to make space for Lowe and our back 3.
Another 9 - if Dickson is retiring, and didnt we loose the young academy 9.
Props - I think are fine, they just need more refining
Another 2nd row (preferably a beefy one).

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Post by yappysnap Wed 11 Feb - 11:46

Agree with that list but I do also think we need a better replacement 10 either this season or the one after, we can't wait until Nev retires and then panic about what we're going to do to replace him!

Oh and it's Twomey that's the other lock. Still not sold on any of the academy lads being starters, especially if two youngsters are having to start alongside each other.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 13 Feb - 14:04

Could anyone see Dave Ward moving on next season?

From Players' player of the season and England squad member to 3rd choice behind Gray and Buchanan, whilst understandable due to the talent of the later two, has got to be frustrating.

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Post by propdavid_london Fri 13 Feb - 15:58

I thought Ward was injured just as Grey and Buchanan were coming back from injury.
This is his first game back for a while now. If he shows his earlier form or last seasons form then he will easily be the starting hooker.

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Post by yappysnap Fri 13 Feb - 19:35

I think Ward will be first choice again if his throwing is improved, it's his only real weakness but can be a real frak up at times

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Post by DaveM Sun 15 Feb - 23:50

Thrashed by Wasps. Something needs to be changed at Quins, as they just appear to be slipping backwards. It's a shame, because there is so much to admire about the club.

A top quality centre (probably an IC) with real physical presence, and a big ball carrying second row appear the bare minimum to stabilise things.

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Post by yappysnap Mon 16 Feb - 20:17

Definitely in trouble at the moment Dave. Not really sure what can be done right now except the players pull up their socks and start actually playing with some conviction.

As you say next season we must get another lock/prop, a flanker and a centre at least.

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Post by DaveM Mon 16 Feb - 23:52

You must have some money available I'd have thought?

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Post by propdavid_london Tue 17 Feb - 13:58

We have signed Matt Shields - Darlington prop - does anyone know anything about him?

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Post by propdavid_london Tue 17 Feb - 13:59

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/31503898

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Post by yappysnap Tue 17 Feb - 18:12

DaveM wrote:You must have some money available I'd have thought?

Apparently we're almost right up to the cap.

There are a lot of very unhappy sth's at the moment who want to know why we're spending so much on academy boys. Obviously no facts but it does seem like we must be paying too much atm.

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Post by DaveM Tue 17 Feb - 23:47

One of the things that can go wrong with being academy focussed (which I think is a good thing in general) is that you end up paying academy players, who don't really progress, too much. A similar thing happened with Arsenal. Academy players need to be in no doubt they have to earn their place in the side (and their salary).

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Post by yappysnap Wed 18 Feb - 10:57

I think that's exactly what's happened with us Dave.

Gray, Matthews, Wallace, Botica, Hopper, OLH, R Chisholm, Casson are all in and around the first team week in week out so will be expecting first team wages. But none of them have kicked on like we would like and all are replaceable to my mind. Unfortunately all have either just signed new two year deals or are just completing their first year of new deals.

Obviously we don't see what CoS and co see in training but i'm really surprised with how many palyers we've retained these last two seasons when things have been on the slide.

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Post by yappysnap Wed 18 Feb - 11:45

Some good news!

Charlie Walker has signed a new deal to stay at Quins. Great to hear as I rate him really highly and think he'll be very good for us.

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Post by propdavid_london Mon 23 Feb - 10:39

Thats all very true Yappy - completely agree.
Perhaps R.Chisholm has been very unlucky with injury. Really not hit the form of 2yrs ago.
Add to that that new singings havent stepped up (Yarde) although I suppose you'd expect a season for him to bed in I suppose.

Kohns retirement really hit quins hard.

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Post by yappysnap Mon 23 Feb - 19:35

Losing Kohn, Big Mo and JTH has ruined us, we just have zero go forward these days.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 23 Feb - 22:10

yappysnap wrote:Losing Kohn, Big Mo and JTH has ruined us, we just have zero go forward these days.

Add in JJs carrying too. All four played against us in the final you won, and their carrying has never been replaced.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 23 Feb - 22:26

I don't think the players you have retained are bad or that they won't come good again. It's just the external recruitment has been all wrong. Two wingers signed last summer and neither cheap. Neither was really required. What Quins were desperate for was a unit in the second row and an abrasive ball carrier at either 6 or centre.

Now heading into next season they need the same. Horwill is only replacing Robson.

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Post by yappysnap Mon 23 Feb - 22:32

formerly known as Sam wrote:I don't think the players you have retained are bad or that they won't come good again. It's just the external recruitment has been all wrong. Two wingers signed last summer and neither cheap. Neither was really required. What Quins were desperate for was a unit in the second row and an abrasive ball carrier at either 6 or centre.

Now heading into next season they need the same. Horwill is only replacing Robson.

I agree completely there Sam, the scary thing is that so many fans said that at the time, and yet the management have done nothing. Now we've finally signed a lock only to lose our other experienced one!

We're still crying out for those ball carriers too but I think that's just a pipe dream.

We're seriously screwed if we don't make more signings but I fear we've already blown all our money.

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Post by yappysnap Mon 23 Feb - 22:34

LondonTiger wrote:
yappysnap wrote:Losing Kohn, Big Mo and JTH has ruined us, we just have zero go forward these days.

Add in JJs carrying too. All four played against us in the final you won, and their carrying has never been replaced.


Yep he was another we've never replaced, although by the looks of him at Sarries he's regressed now. And add to that list Tom Guest too.

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Post by ChequeredJersey Mon 23 Feb - 23:14

Sad my optimism is shattered
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Post by LondonTiger Tue 24 Feb - 8:28

I agree with Sam - you have some very good players - but recruitment was in the wrong areas.

Silliest decision had to be releasing Molenaar. As things have panned out he has missed most of the season - but when he arrived on the emergency contract he provided the go forward your team needed. That has now been lost again. Of course the complete loss of form from JTH has not helped.

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