March 9 2014 Latest news:
Chris Phillips, London24 Harlequins blogger
Thursday, May 3, 2012
“Quins make the trip to sunnier climbs in the knowledge that a win of any sort guarantees they will be pulling on their quartered shirts in the home changing room at the Stoop on 12 May”
The 22-23 loss to Sale seven years ago, means that an end of season fixture against the Sharks will always mean something, even if the result is irrelevant in terms of relegation or title chasing. That was certainly the case 2 years later when a repeat of the final day fixture allowed the Stoop faithful to lay some demons to rest with a 49-0 drubbing of their previous relegation executioners.
This season the fixture is reversed with Quins travelling north to Stockport for what is not only the final game of the Shark’s season but also their final game at Edgeley Park before a summer move to Salford.
Quins make the trip to sunnier climbs in the knowledge that a win of any sort guarantees they will be pulling on their quartered shirts in the home changing room at the Stoop on 12 May regardless of goings on across other Premiership grounds.
Sale meanwhile will go into the game knowing that their participation in the Heineken Cup is all but safe unless the unlikely result of a five point win for Bath at Welford road flashes up on fans iPhones (a result that all Quins fans would treasure of course).
Sale go into Saturday’s game on the back of two vital wins that has pushed them up the table and into the position they are in. Their round 21 victory at Kingsholm knocked Gloucester out of the Heineken reckoning and in doing so laid down a marker for next season and that is even before the arrival of their flurry of big name signings including England discard, Cipriani and Glasgow’s giant lock Ritchie Gray.
Quins meanwhile were pipped in the last 10 minutes at home to a Tigers team that would have ripped apart the proverbial T-Rex, let alone 15 court jesters.
The London side however can be pleased with their effort and certainly didn’t lose the game due to poor play, merely came up against a team who have been on a roll since the RWC ended. Conor and his boys will know that a performance like that on Saturday will surely be enough to ensure a home fixture in a weeks time.
With Quins knowing they have much more to gain than Sale on the day, I predict that quartered fans on the Quinssa coach, will be celebrating a win on Saturday before racing to the phone to secure their tickets to the semi-final. Sale however will be a team to watch next season!
If you’re going to Sale, cheer loudly and Keep it Multicoloured!
Follow me on twitter @quinsquarters