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Cadan Murley: “It is a massive chance to make Harlequins history”

By Jon Newcombe
Cadan Murley flies through the air to score in the corner /PA

Facing Scottish opposition in the Champions Cup is almost as rare as Harlequins’ presence in the latter stages of Europe’s premier competition, but Cadan Murley wants to change that.

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Only once before have the south-west Londoners taken on a team from north of Hadrian’s wall – against the short-lived Caledonian Reds back in 1996 at the dawn of professionalism.

But now they face URC high-flyer Glasgow at the Twickenham Stoop on Friday night for the right to play either Bordeaux-Begles or Saracen in the quarter-finals, where all their previous dreams of becoming European champions in the competition that really matters (they have won the Challenge Cup twice) have died.

In 18 campaigns at this exalted level of competition, Harlequins have never made it beyond the last eight and have fallen at the Round of 16 stage for the last two seasons, so their immediate priority is to get past Friday’s visitors.

If successful, it will be the first time Harlequins will have won a knockout game in the Champions Cup, having lost both previous Round of 16 ties and all four quarter-final appearances.

“We’ve been speaking all week that it is a massive chance to make Harlequins history. I don’t think a Harlequins team has won a knockout game in the Champions Cup before,” said fit-again winger Cadan Murley, who is named on the left wing.

“We are massively excited and to have a home Round of 16 tie is absolutely perfect for us in front of our fans. We’re hoping it is going to be a sell-out, Friday night lights … it is all in the making to be a great evening. But we know we have got to be the ones to go out there and deliver.”

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Quins have suffered two Premiership defeats and a win since they thrashed Ulster 47-19 in their final Champions Cup pool game.

A one-point defeat at home to Leicester was followed by a 52-7 hammering at the hands of Saracens.

Quins bounced back superbly to lead Bath 43-3 the following week but they almost blew it, scraping home by four points after the visitors came roaring back spectacularly.

“We’ve had some quite interesting games these last couple of weeks, obviously with the Sarries defeat and then absolutely flying for 65 minutes of the Bath game and almost letting that lead slip,” added Murley, whose first half of the season was dogged by knee and then ankle problems.

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“We know if we put our best game out there like we did for 65 minutes against Bath not many teams can live with us. We have trained well and prepared well and are excited for the challenge.”

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Comments

1 Comment
E
Ed the Duck 72 days ago

Well one way or the other a team that hasn’t won a champions cup knock out match will break their duck! Glasgow had the misfortune to be drawn at this stage of the comp against sarries a few times when their squad was, ahem, better than it was supposed to be. Oh, that and the fact that a certain french ref by the name of Reynal missed not one, not even two, but three, yes THREE red cards in one match!!!

Anyway, I suspect it will be quins to progress but at least it’s likely to be a cracking game.

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