Harlequin’s season was dealt a significant blow last week with the 7-week ban for Kyle Sinckler who was found guilty of making illegal contact with the eye or eye area of another player.
The ban adds further pressure on to Director of Rugby John Kingston and his coaching staff as another of their front-line players is ruled out of action albeit this time not as a result of an injury.
This week, it was reported that Quins were short of so many squad members that they actually held a joint training session with London Irish at their Surrey Sports Park facility.
Quins’ coach Mark Mapeltoft stated that although by no means unique, these sorts of sessions have happened more and more recently. “We’ve done it now maybe four or five times, over the last eighteen months” he told BT Sport.
— BT Sport Rugby (@btsportrugby) October 4, 2017
It is a situation that has robbed the Londoners of players like Mike Brown, James Horwill, Demetri Catrakilis & Rob Buchanan as well as Lion, Sinckler. Add to that, Jack Clifford and Will Collier – casualties of the 42-26 win over Sale last night.
What it means is that the fans at The Stoop will be relying on the experienced spine of the team in Joe Marler, Chris Robshaw and Danny Care to guide them through this barren period and the England Internationals will have to recognise that they may need to ‘win ugly’ over the coming weeks if they are not firing on all cylinders.
Secure the Odd Win Away from Home
If the depleted squad can improve their away form and try and secure the odd win as well as bonus points in each game on the road, the damage limitation exercise will well and truly be done. They will be chuffed if they can enter the Christmas period with some of their key players back and sitting somewhere near the top six.
Care was outstanding in his man of the match performance against Steve Diamond’s men and everything he tried came off. He will need to ensure his execution is consistently at that level and not revert to over-playing when the situation doesn’t allow.
— Harlequins 🃏 (@Harlequins) October 6, 2017
His communication with Robshaw and Marler in putting their game-plan into action will be a key factor to allow teenage sensation Marcus Smith to release the remaining potency in the back line.
Harlequins are not the only team to be facing injury woes, Wasps look set to field a depleted side against Saracens at Allianz Park in a game that has a look of resignation in it for the Ricoh men. The injury problem is a wider debate that will continue to rumble and one would think that Eddie Jones would have a view on why we are in the position that we are in.
What is for certain is that the senior players at The Stoop will earn their money in the lead up to the festive period.