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Matthews looking for Harlequins to build the momentum


They may have run riot in the first half at Worcester Warriors last weekend, but Harlequins second-row Charlie Matthews insists that kind of performance will not cut the mustard against table-topping Saracens.

Dean Ryan’s Worcester came back in the second half from 24-3 down to make the final score 24-20 at Sixways, but ultimately Charlie Walker's double was enough to see Harlequins up to third in the Aviva Premiership Rugby standings.

Conor O’Shea’s side have once again started the season in promising fashion, as they look to make the semi-finals for the fourth time in five seasons.

But after Harlequins ended last season on a low note – losing six of their final nine games – Matthews is adamant his side will not be resting on their laurels with the majority of the season still remaining.

“Obviously last weekend was a little bit frustrating as we would have liked to have come away from Worcester with five points, and we were well on our way to doing that,” he said.

“At 24-3 up we let them back into the game, but we’ll refocus now and look ahead to the game next weekend against Saracens who are of course top of the league for a reason.

“We were the only team last weekend to get a result away from home last weekend, and every away game in Aviva Premiership Rugby is tough, so we certainly didn’t think it was going to be easy.

“Last year was up and down but I wouldn’t speak too soon and say we had banished some of the inconsistency from last year.

“This time last season we were top four in Aviva Premiership Rugby and top of our group in Europe as well, so we just have to keep going as we are and see what happens later on.”

It has been an important month in Matthews’ career, with the 24-year-old making his 100th appearance for Harlequins in December as well as signing a new contract on Tuesday.

And with another two seasons guaranteed at the Stoop, Matthews is confident Harlequins’ strength in depth this term will keep them well placed in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table.

He said: “I’m really happy to have signed a new contract at Harlequins. I’ve been in and around the club for the best part of ten years since I was at school.

“So to guarantee another two at least is a great feeling and I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“Keeping our momentum going now is really important as we don’t want what happened last year to happen again and end up outside the top six.

“But that said this year is totally different, and I can’t see that happening to that extent. The new guys that have come in have been great – the likes of Adam Jones, James Horwill, and so on – and there’s just a different mood around the camp.

“We have the strength in depth to deal with challenges like the Six Nations and everything should turn out alright.”

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