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Throwback Thursday: Wasps and Harlequins renew acquaintances

Throwback Thursday: Wasps and Harlequins renew acquaintances

We are barely into the fifth month of the season but on Saturday Harlequins host Wasps in what will be the third meeting between the two sides already this campaign.

The hotly-anticipated European Champions Cup match comes after Dai Young’s side won the reverse European fixture at the Ricoh Arena back in October, gaining some form of revenge after Harlequins’ Aviva Premiership Rugby victory at the same ground in September.

Both matches were excellent spectacles and, with plenty of European points still to play for in Pool One, supporters can expect more of the same from the two buccaneering sides.

Heading into Round Five of the Champions Cup Wasps will be keen to make up ground on both Ulster and La Rochelle who sit above them in the group.

Here, we take a look back at the previous match-ups between Harlequins and Wasps to understand what Saturday will bring.

Wasps 21 Harlequins 24 – September 17, 2017, Aviva Premiership Rugby

What a game this was! If Saturday’s fixture comes anywhere near matching the excitement of this Aviva Premiership Rugby clash then the spectators are in for a real treat.

Going into this Round Three match Wasps had accumulated an incredible home record – not losing at the Ricoh Arena in any of their previous 20 Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures.

Meanwhile Harlequins have sometimes struggled to secure victories away from the Stoop but started brilliantly in Coventry thanks to a try from Marland Yarde and two penalties from the boot of Marcus Smith.

Christian Wade struck early for the home side, touching down out wide after some neat interplay with Willie Le Roux, but Yarde prevented a second score with a flying tackle on Marcus Watson as he looked to touch the ball down in the corner.

After the break Charlie Walker put the London club ahead before Tom Cruse brought things back to 18-18.

Danny Cipriani’s penalty edged Wasps ahead once again but he was later sin-binned and could only watch on as two late Smith penalties secured a famous win and a man-of-the-match award for the 18-year-old.

Wasps 41 Harlequins 10 – October 22, 2017, European Champions Cup

A month later and into Round Two of the European Champions Cup, the teams met in Coventry once again but saw a different outcome.

John Kingston’s men made late changes with prop Will Collier and George Merrick both failing late fitness tests and Smith requiring stitches on a warm-up head injury.

Tries for Dan Robson, Wade and Ashley Johnson put the hosts 21-3 up at the break as Wasps clicked into gear led by the impressive Nathan Hughes at No.8.

In the second period winger Josh Bassett also crossed to secure the bonus point and young fly-half Smith’s kick was charged down, with Wade racing away to put the gloss on a five-try win.

Harlequins centre Francis Saili did grab a consolation try but it wasn’t the south-west London team’s day and they will no doubt have a much better performance in mind for Saturday.

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