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Quins out to make amends

Wed, 05 Dec 2012 12:40
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Harlequins failed to qualify for the knock-out stages of last season's European Cup and they are determined to make amends this time around.

The English Premiership champions face newcomers Zebre at the Stadio XXV Aprile on Saturday, and they will certainly not be underestimating the Italian outfut.

Quins have a four-point advantage over Biarritz in Pool Three after a 40-13 home win against the French club and a 30-22 victory on the road against Connacht.

But the scars from their group defeat in Galway last season are still raw and a painful reminder of the possible banana skins waiting out there.

"We underachieved in the Heineken Cup last season," said wing Tom Williams. "Connacht did brilliantly to beat us in the final pool game and that cost us so we know we can't afford to take any side lightly.

"Zebre have only played a few games, they've played twice in the Heineken Cup and then they've had their league fixtures in the PRO12, so we've done as much research as we can.

"They have pushed other teams close and the two examples that come to mind are against Ulster at home when they only narrowly lost, while they gave Munster a fright at Thomond Park," he added.

Williams said that although they do not have as many star names as Quins, Zebre remain a dangerous prospect in front of their home crowd.

"They look to be an exciting team. They've got some brilliant backs and some class players in the forwards.

"They have a couple of lads with some real pace out wide while the nine and 10 look lively so we've got to stay alert. However, we always pay due respect to our opponents," he said.

Williams said that despite his team's recent success they are still hungry to continue raising their standards against all opponents.

"We're doing well in all the competitions - we are top of the Premiership and looking good in the Heineken Cup - but it is a sign of how far we have come and developed as a team that we are still not satisfied," said Williams.

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