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PREVIEW: Kingston keen to avoid Quins slip-up

Wednesday 9th December 2015

12:00 am (GMT)

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Faciles leaders de la poule 3 d'European Rugby Challenge Cup

Faciles leaders de la poule 3 d'European Rugby Challenge Cup

Harlequins head coach John Kingston has warned the English club cannot afford any slip-ups when they travel to Italy to face Rugby Calvisano in the first part of their European Rugby Challenge Cup Pool 3 double-header.

Quins are in a dominant position in the pool having picked up bonus-point wins over Montpellier and Cardiff Blues in last month’s opening fixtures, while their hosts are at the bottom of the standings after defeats to the French and Welsh sides.

But Kingston will be taking nothing for granted, even though Quins won both their previous Challenge Cup fixtures against Italian opposition by over 30 points.

“We’ve had an excellent start with 10 points from our first two games, but the reality is there is six games to get through in this pool stage,” said Kingston.

“We know a slip-up over the next two games could end up really costing us and our last quarter-final ambitions, so hopefully we can make these games count.

“If we can continue to perform at the level we showed in our first two games, the results will look after themselves. It’s good to keep momentum going and we’ve really developed a winning feeling here.

“We’ve had a really good recruitment drive over the summer, but it was not just about bringing in high quality players, but the right kind of characters as well. We now have a wealth of experience here after taking a backward step last season, and everyone is focused on getting back to where we want to be.

“Everyone in sport wants to win everything that is available to win, but we are just taking it every game at a time and if we can keep performances high, then we will be successful.”

Match Facts

  • This will be the first meeting between these two sides in European competition.
  • Rugby Calvisano have accrued only a draw in their last nine Challenge Cup fixtures (L8) conceding an average of 34 points per game in that run.
  • Rugby Calvisano’s only win in eight matches against English opposition in the Challenge Cup was a 27-26 victory against Leeds Carnegie in 2007.
  • Harlequins have won 11 of their last 13 Challenge Cup fixtures, including their opening two fixtures this season.
  • Harlequins won both previous games against Italian opposition in the Challenge Cup, each by margins of 30+ points.

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REPORT: Quins ease past Calvisano

Saturday 12th December 2015

12:00 am (GMT)

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Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea admits his side go to Munster as 'massive underdogs' and that the game will be the biggest challenge  ever for many of his players

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea admits his side go to Munster as 'massive underdogs' and that the game will be the biggest challenge ever for many of his players

Luke Wallace scored two twice as Harlequins ran-in eight tries against Rugby Calvisano in Italy.

It took the Aviva Premiership side less than half an hour to secure a bonus point, which moves them back up to the summit of pool three ahead of the Cardiff Blues.

Back-row Wallace started the rout with a try in the first minute and Mark Lambert, Jack Clifford, Ross Chisholm, Matt Hopper, Kyle Sinckler and Charlie Walker all crossed the whitewash in a dominant display.

Quins were rewarded for their decision to kick for the corner rather than the posts with an early penalty when Wallace was able to force his way over from close range.

The same tactic brought a second try four minutes later as Lambert finished off some good work by the visitors.
Calvisano went down to 14 men when second-row Agustin Cavaliero was sent to the bin and from the scrum Clifford powered his way over for try number three.

Wallace then secured the bonus point with another well-worked try and a fifth came before the half-time break when full-back Tim Swiel made space in midfield found wing Chisholm out wide for an easy run-in.

Quins made several changes shortly after the interval but it did little stop the flow of tries, as centre Hopper got his name on the scoresheet after good work by the front-five.

The home side did get a consolation try with 20 minutes left on the clock with Mata Mbanda touching down from a rolling maul, with Matteo Minozzi adding the conversion.

But normal service was soon resumed when first Kyle Sinckler and then Charlie Walker touched down for Quins’ seventh and eighth tries to take them on to 50 points for the contest to round off a very pleasing afternoon for O’Shea’s men.

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