Harlequins Ladies 2018 What A Year

As the pigs in blankets made their way from freezer to oven, and you roasted your chestnuts on an open fire, there is little doubt that no one had earned the right to a few cosy fireside evenings with their feet up more than Harlequins Ladies.

As the final remnants of the turkey are gobbled up  we can reflect on the fact that Quins have delivered a few stuffings themselves, carving up defences and in the process scoring 77 tries in the opening thirteen rounds of the 2018/19 Tyrrells Premiership.

So as you tuck in to the Christmas chocolates you may discover a few soft centres, something you will never find at Quins, Jade Mullen, Rachael Burford and Emily Scott maybe silky smooth but they are tougher than the nut clusters and twice as effective.

Ellie Green has achieved more conversions than St Paul with 39 in a total points haul of 92, whilst Heather Cowell has touched down 15 times

The last match of 2018 at Surrey Sports Park saw Quins once again at their imperious best against bottom of the table Worcester Valkyries, and in the process they gained their tenth win in a row.

If the premiership title was awarded on attitude human decency and rugby values, Quins would hold the title already, the fact that they are a skilful intelligent entertaining team to watch makes them the complete package, it seems the only team that can beat Harlequins Ladies is Harlequins Ladies themselves.

As an old-timer what gives me most satisfaction is the fact that I have never seen, or heard, them resort to the sledging and underhanded tactics one or two of the top teams in the Tyrrells Premiership resort to, they would not stoop (if you’ll pardon the pun) so low.

Am I biased ? You bet I am, the dedication these young women have for the game is staggering, and the majority do not get a single penny for playing the game.

When your Saturday consists of a 5.30am start, five hours on a coach, a rugby match played in freezing rain and mud, followed by the news there is no hot water for a shower, a five hour coach journey home covered in mud feeling cold wet and shivering, you have a taste of how the elite women’s game can sometimes feel.

This was Quins experience a few weeks ago it was no surprise to turn up to training the following week to find the players scouring the anti doping website to find any remedies they are allowed to take.

Looking back on the whole of 2018 Quins Ladies played 22 Tyrrells Premiership matches between January 3rd and 22 December, winning 17, drawing 1 and losing 4, three of those defeats were by 4 points or less, a remarkable record.

2019 starts against old foes Saracens away on January 12 a team Quins faced three times in 2018 winning twice, but losing in the Premiership final 24-20.

The following week, on January 19th, Harlequins Ladies face neighbours Richmond in a rip-roaring derby at the magnificent Stoop, and players fans and everyone connected with the team cannot wait.

No one knows what 2019 has in store but whatever happens this group will give it everything, and when all is said and done trophies gather dust, but memories last forever.

Happy New Year everyone.

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