Harlequins may be on a ten-game winning streak but never underestimate revenge as a motivating factor, something London Wasps hooker Tom Lindsay will be keen to reinforce when the sides clash at the Twickenham Stoop on Saturday.
Despite falling 20-0 behind inside 12 minutes in their Aviva Premiership opener against Wasps back in September, Quins staged a remarkable comeback to run out eventual 42-40 winners.
That was a particularly bitter pill to swallow for Wasps, who have now lost their last six games against Saturday’s opponents in all competitions.
They have also failed to record a victory of any kind at the Stoop since 2007, a record that Lindsay for one is determined to break. The 25-year-old has yet to taste success against Wasps’ London rivals – something he hopes to rectify this weekend.
“We know that Quins will be missing a few players but that does not change the way that we prepare for the match,” said Lindsay, who has been a near ever-present in Wasps’ Aviva Premiership campaign this season.
“Their results show this year just how well they can cope without their internationals and it will be a huge test. We feel like we owe them one after what happened on the first day of the season as well.
“This is a massive period in the league for us, I have never beaten Quins and this would be a great time to start.”
Despite quietly climbing up to fourth in the Aviva Premiership table, Wasps go into the game on a two-match losing streak having been beaten twice in the LV=Cup, 34-8 by Leicester Tigers and 33-30 by Sale Sharks.
Quins have no such concerns with their winning run stretching back to November. But centre Matt Hopper is refusing to take Wasps lightly, having witnessed their first half fight back at Adams Park first hand.
“We played them in the first game of the season so we know exactly what they can do,” said Hopper, who scored Quins’ only try in a tight 16-12 win over the Ospreys in the LV=Cup on Sunday.
“For the first 55 minutes they blew us away so we are all aware of the threat they pose. We’ve looked at what they do and how we can stop them but training is more about getting our heads down and focusing on what we can do.
“It’s important to realise the challenge in front of you but still treat it as just another game.”
Despite their impressive record on their own patch, Hopper insists Quins’ record this season is less down to the intimidating nature of the Stoop and more to do with the quality of the team’s performances.
“It’s a local ground and we’ll have a lot of home support but I think our record is probably indicative of where we are as a team, and in general we are happy to play anywhere,” he added.
Twickenham Stoop (8pm)
Referee: J.P. Doyle (54th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Peter Huckle, Nigel Carrick. TMO: Geoff Warren
Live on ESPN HD