England 7s star Cam Cowell believes Harlequins can go all the way in the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series, after he scooped the Man of the Round gong at Franklin’s Gardens on Friday.
Cowell showed all his international experience to lead his side to three bonus-point victories from their three games against Northampton Saints, Gloucester Rugby and Saracens.
Harlequins, who are celebrating their 150th anniversary this season, will now face hosts Wasps in their quarter-final showdown at the Ricoh Arena on August 7.
And while Cowell believes his young teammates are the full package for 7s rugby, he is confident they can improve further and pick up the first silverware of the new season.
“I definitely think we can win it; we’ve got big boys, strong boys, quick boys, we’ve got everything we need, it’s just if it clicks on the day,” he said.
“I just think we need to work on 7s structure, it’s quite individual at the moment, especially in defence with players flying out.
“I think we need to calm it down, look over the footage and see what we need to do but I think that’s just communication and getting to know each other.
“I came into training yesterday and I was trying to voice my opinion and we changed a few things but I think it was for the best and we did well with it.
“It’s just seeing about where the space is, it’s a lot different seeing where the space is in 7s than in XVs. There’s obviously more space but picking the right space and the right time is the hardest thing.”
Harlequins didn’t enjoy the smoothest evening, arriving late at Franklin’s Gardens due to traffic, but once on the pitch they were quickly into their stride with five tries in a 29-19 victory over hosts Northampton Saints.
They followed that up with a 31-10 win over Gloucester as Jonas Mikalcius and Cowell both grabbed a brace of tries.
And the perfect night was sealed with a resounding 42-17 win over Saracens and Cowell was impressed with the way his side performed throughout the evening.
“Some of these guys have never really played 7s, and I’d never seen Gabriel [Ibitoye] play but I’ve heard a bit about him and he’s a really strong ball carrier, he did really well,” he added.
“The atmosphere was amazing, when we played Northampton you could barely hear yourself talk.
“I think we did well and it wasn’t just me, James Lang was pulling the strings really well and scored four tries, and I think we can do quite well in the final.”
Quarter-Final line-up so far:
Quarter Final 1 – Cardiff Blues v Group D Runner-up
Quarter Final 2 – Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints
Quarter Final 3 – Harlequins v Wasps
Quarter Final 4 – Group D Winner v Ospreys
Gloucester Rugby 26 (Protheroe, Halaifonua, Randall, Thomas)
Saracens 19 (Morris, Crossdale, Earl)
Harlequins 29 (Aspland-Robinson, Lang, Ibitoye, Hirskyj-Douglas, Mikalcius)
Northampton Saints 19 (Emery, Packman, Ludlam)
Gloucester Rugby 10 (Hudson, Protheroe)
Harlequins 31 (Mikalcius 2, Cowell 2, Lang)
Northampton Saints 24 (Collins 2, Grayson, Olver)
Saracens 17 (Haylor, Earl, Sirker )
Harlequins 42 (Lang 3, Aspland-Robinson, Cheeseman, Nairn)
Saracens 17 (Forster, Gilksten, Sirker)
Gloucester Rugby 17 (Creed 2, Randall)
Northampton Saints 27 (Packman 4, Rayment)
Eight teams will play for the first silverware of the season in the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series Finals from 2pm at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on Sunday 7 August. Click here for tickets