Last weekend’s heavy defeat to Wasps put Harlequins’ Aviva Premiership Rugby top four hopes in serious jeopardy but prop Kyle Sinckler insists you write off the Stoop outfit at your own peril.
Wasps solidified their spot in the top four with a 37-6 win at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday, sealing a bonus point in the second-half with two penalty scores to go with Tom Varndell and Elliot Daly’s efforts before the interval.
It was a tough day at the office for Sinckler and Quins who emerged with only two Nick Evans penalties to show for their efforts and now sit eighth in the overall standings.
But last season Quins appeared a long shot for the play-offs before hitting top gear in the season run-in, reeling off six wins on the bounce to sneak into the top four at the expense of Bath Rugby.
And despite an inconsistent season that has already seen Conor O’Shea’s side knocked out of Europe, Sinckler is confident that lightning can strike twice this time around with a late push for the top spots.
“It was not a good performance against Wasps, and the scoreline reflects that,” said the 21-year-old.
“You cannot come into the game not at 100 per cent, we just did not have that intensity and were not at the races and you are always going to struggle, especially away from home.
“But there is no chance of us of giving up on the top four.
“We were having these same conversations last year and we managed to get into the top four.
“People were writing us off but the belief is still massively high in the squad and a team like Quins have to be challenging to be in the top four.”
Inconsistent is pretty much the only word to sum up the way O’Shea have played this season, mixing the sublime with the sub-par in equal measure.
Highlights include impressive European wins over Leinster and Castres as well as a bonus-point victory in the league against Leicester Tigers.
But at the other end of the scale home losses like the one to Sale Sharks in the league and Wasps in Europe have been all to regular and Sinckler admits it has been a bitter pill to swallow.
“We have a pretty young team, guys like myself, Jack Clifford, Charlie Walker, Will Collier before he got injured, we have all come in and played a lot,” he added.
“And it has probably been a bit of a learning curve, but we believe in the Quins way and we will not be changing from that.
“We are not making any excuses either, if you are old enough you are good enough and we have not been consistent enough at all this season.
“We went to Kingsholm and won for the first time in a long time but then lost the next week at home to Sale, that is not good enough and we need to get it sorted.”
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