Moody: Quins can win treble

Tue, 22 Jan 2013 19:34
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Lewis Moody has urged Harlequins not to take their foot off the gas ahead of the third round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup this weekend.

Lewis Moody has urged Harlequins not to take their foot off the gas in their bid for a European treble ahead of the third round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup this weekend.

Currently top of the league and with a home European Cup quarterfinal against Munster already in the bag, Conor O’Shea’s men will go into Sunday’s match against London Welsh hoping to keep their march going.

And while O’Shea is likely to ring the changes against the Exiles, Moody sees no reason why the Stoop outfit cannot continue their recent red-hot form.

“No matter what the competition and no matter how many changes they seem to make Quins just keep winning games,” he said.

“It’s really quite amazing actually; Conor has done a fantastic job there continuing the fine work that Dean Richards started.

“But from personal experience in 2007 I know just how hard winning a treble can be, it just gets so tiring near the end of the season but this clash with London Welsh this weekend is just another game they need to get through.

“If anyone can do it though it is this Quins side, their consistency is just fantastic and to have the opportunity to win multiple competitions is an achievement in itself.”

They may have won two from two so far but Quins do not currently top Pool One with Exeter Chiefs sitting above them courtesy of having scored more points than Quins so far.

But this weekend the Chiefs travel to the Rec to take on a Bath side for whom the Anglo-Welsh Cup is becoming more and more of a priority in Moody’s eyes.

“I think Bath will be viewing the Anglo-Welsh Cup more and more as a chance to guarantee a place in Europe next year,” he added.

“Of course the top four and the league is every one’s main aim but as a season progresses priorities can shift.

“In years gone by sides like Wasps and Bath were competitive across all the competitions but nowadays they will be targeting this competition and getting into the European Cup this way.”

In Pool Two meanwhile, London Wasps face a Leicester Tigers side who will be battle-weary after edging out Toulouse last weekend at a snow-covered Welford Road.

And Moody is tipping Dai Young’s troops to upset the Tigers this weekend when hostilities resume domestically.

The other game in Pool Two sees Sale Sharks take on the Scarlets a clash that for many might seem like an unwanted distraction for the relegation-threatened Premiership side.

But not according to Moody, who insists that sides like Sale and London Irish, who face Worcester Warriors this weekend, could benefit from bringing some momentum back into the league.

“The Anglo-Welsh Cup presents a great chance for sides to get on a roll and Sale and London Irish are struggling in the league at the moment,” he added.

“But if they can get a couple of wins that should start to bring back some confidence. That can only be a good thing in terms of their league campaign as well.”

In another Anglo-Welsh encounter Saracens host the Cardiff Blues in the club’s first game at their new home of Allianz Park, which has an artificial turf pitch.

And while Sarries will undoubtedly shuffle their pack ahead of the clash, Moody insists that does not mean they will be weaker a result.

“You only have to look at Sarries’ two latest signings to see what amazing strength in depth they have,” he added.

“They rotate their squad and replace class with class, it’s pretty impressive to be honest.”

Elsewhere, Pool Four table-toppers Northampton Saints host Gloucester while Ospreys take on Dragons in an all-Welsh encounter.

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Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 21 16 1 4 75
Exeter Chiefs 21 14 0 7 69
Wasps 21 14 0 7 67
Leicester Tigers 21 14 0 7 64
Sale Sharks 21 10 2 9 54
Harlequins 21 10 1 10 55
Northampton Saints 21 11 0 10 56
Gloucester 21 10 1 10 49
Bath 21 8 0 13 43
Worcester Warriors 21 7 0 14 35
Newcastle Falcons 21 5 1 15 26
London Irish 21 4 0 17 20