The game unravelled before Harlequins’ eyes from the very first moment last weekend – and now flanker Luke Wallace has issued a rallying cry as his side look to resurrect their form.
The season was running like a dream for Harlequins, safely lodged inside Aviva Premiership Rugby’s top four having conquered all-comers in the European Rugby Challenge Cup.
But they face a test of character heading into Friday’s clash with Leicester Tigers after last month’s loss at Newcastle Falcons sparked a run of three consecutive defeats.
A Charlie Sharples break straight from kick-off proved their undoing against Gloucester Rugby last time out – and Wallace admits standards must be raised at Harlequins right across the park.
“Everyone felt really prepared in the changing room, the warm-up went well, but that first moment from Charlie Sharples took the wind out of our sails completely,” he said.
“People started to try and solve problems themselves instead of coming together as a team and it got worse from there.
“But it’s definitely not the end of the season – we’ve just got to get back on the horse and start winning games again. And it would be especially good to beat Leicester after they narrowly got the win against us in the first game this year.
“I don’t think there’s one particular thing that has gone wrong, if anything it’s just the will to work for each other, we’re so good when we’re working hard for each other and being physical.
“We’ve got to get back that intensity every week. It’s up to all of us to step up and show what we are made up.”
With fellow flankers Jack Clifford and Chris Robshaw busy away on England duty, the responsibility falls on Wallace’s shoulders more than ever to make an impact.
Hooker Dave Ward has proved somewhat of a revelation at flanker when asked to contribute this season – but Wallace knows he must he the standard-bearer in the back-row.
“Especially with Nick Evans getting injured last week, another really experienced guy, it’s just important to help the younger guys feel like they can contribute,” added Wallace.
“I don’t like the fact that I have to do the line-outs when I play with Dave! But he’s a very selfless player who gets all over the field, and has all the skills to fill in at flanker.
“We’re lucky to have two very good hookers in Rob Buchanan and Joe Gray so it works out very well.”