Harlequins target home tie

Sun, 13 Jan 2013 10:55
Large conor o shea quins 630 Large ugo monye quins630 Large chris robshaw harlequins ce

Having clinched their place in the European Cup play-offs, Harlequins turn their focus to earning home advantage in April's quarterfinals.

Harlequins are in the knockout stages of the European Cup for only the second time since 1998 - and only the fourth time in their history.

And having clinched their place in the last eight with a 47-8 victory over Connacht at the Twickenham Stoop, the next task is to earn home advantage in April's quarterfinals when they travel to France and take on Biarritz on Friday night in the climax of the group stages.

"I am really delighted, we are almost guaranteed a home quarterfinal," said Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea.

"We will enjoy tonight and have the opportunity of looking forward to that quarterfinal at the Stoop on a hard pitch in April.

"Connacht came to play rugby; it was tough for long periods especially as we played into a stiff breeze in the first half.

"The penalty try just before half-time gave us breathing space. We were far more direct in the second half and played some superb rugby."

Ugo Monye celebrated his 200th game for the Quins with a splendid solo effort to collect the bonus point which drew a special mention from O'Shea.

"Ugo's try gave me the most pleasure of all," he added. "He has had a heck of a lot of good offers from other clubs but he has remained with us and he still has a lot to offer. I'm delighted for him."

Connacht head coach Eric Elwood said: "We had some great opportunities in the first half-hour and didn't have any reward. We had four or five great line-breaks and didn't finish them off.

"How we were 6-3 down after 35 minutes I just don't know but Quins scored just before and after half-time to build up a cushy lead."

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Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 22
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Pool 2
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Harlequins 6 4 0 2 18
Castres 6 0 0 6 1
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Ulster 6 2 0 4 12
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Pool 5
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Ospreys 6 1 1 4 9
Treviso 6 1 0 5 4