Sport for all it’s hope, optimism, joy and sadness, is serviced emotionally and physically by rivalry.
The great matches, events and memorable series are enriched by rivalry, whether it be respectful or bitter.
Ali and Frasier, Nadal and Federer, Barcelona v Real Madrid, Coe and Ovett are etched in sporting history, the relatively new kids on the block, in terms of rivalry, are Harlequins Women and Saracens.
The teams, you could say, are from opposite sides of the tracks, Quins with their joie de Vivre, Saracens with their gritty down to earth attitude, where pushing the limits of legality has got them to where they are, that’s not to say that their rugby is unattractive, far from it, it’s just that I have seen first hand the difference in attitudes, on and off the field, between the two teams, and this is one of the factors that makes the rivalry so absorbing so gripping and makes victory for the winner all the sweeter.
On the Harlequins side it is also true to say that the beautiful game they all buy in to is underpinned by discipline, an incredible work ethic, and an armour plated inner steel.
Whether you like your shade of rugby dark or light there is no doubt Quins v Saracens is more Barca v Real than Nadal v Federer.
This Saturday the teams meet at the Stoop, their head to head record is almost made irrelevant by the fact that Saracens have beaten Harlequins in every Tyrrells Premiership Final that has been played, okay there have only been two, but for Quins and their followers, this is a lingering sore patch that they are desperate to heal.
There is so much I could tell you about the these two sides, but this writers self imposed hypocratic oath prevents me from doing so, readers have the option of plying me with Guinness and I will happily spill the beans.