Following their late rally against Bath at the Stoop on Saturday, the final 32-37 scoreline flattered Paul Gustard’s men.

The Quins supremo knew this and was brutally honest as to where the problems lie before heading along the M4 to do battle with Pat Lam’s Bears this weekend.

“We were second best in every aspect of the game,” said Gustard.

“First half our set piece really cost us a lot of energy, we couldn’t win our own ball.

“Their maul hammered us time after time, and we couldn’t find answers.

“We gave away scrum penalties, we got cut, our line speed went, we lost confidence, and some old demons resurfaced.

“And our attack was toothless.

“Where do you start with that?”

Lots to work on then.


Bath dwarfed the Quins pack on Saturday. The physicality of the front eight has been questioned already this season and their latest performance is cause for concern. All too often were Quins pushed back in the maul leaving Chris Robshaw and co scrambling time and time again.

The introduction of David Ward and Joe Marler on Saturday did steady the ship, but with both just coming back from injury they can’t pin too much hope on them, just yet.

With an long injury list Gustard will be hoping for some speedy recoveries in the treatment room to get some of his ‘bigger’ names back on the park.


Two weeks running now Quins have finished on the ascendancy.

At Northampton they were camped deep on the Saints line for what seemed an age and were unlucky not to get anything from that final push.

Against Bath, albeit helped by Aled Brew’s idiocy and a Joe Rokoduguni’s sin binning, the last 15 minutes Quins were relentless in attack.

If they have the strength, mentally and physically to do it in the closing stages of the match, it poses the question why they struggle to establish an early foothold? Are they incredibly fit? Were Bath complacent? Or should the ‘game changers’ actually be ‘game starters?’

Changes at 9 and 10?

Each replacement made an impact. But surely that’s their purpose? (I’m loathed to call them game changers.)

The biggest impact, aside from the arrival of Marler was undoubtedly the half back pairing.

Danny Care and Marcus Smith were both withdrawn from the action early in the second half, and some could argue it should’ve been sooner.

Replaced by Charlie Mulchrone and James Lang, the changes created an immediate impact and ultimately won Quins the bonus points they didn’t deserve.

Although Care never dodged a tackle and impressively juggled over the line for a score, he seemed out of sorts on the front foot. Whether it’s a diminishing belief in the man outside him or the platform the pack are giving him it may be worth giving Mulchrone a run out against Bristol.

On Saturday both Freddy Burns and his replacement Rhys Priestland had a presence about them. Not just physically. They swaggered across the pitch confident in what they were doing.

The Quins number ten however, although undoubtedly a star of the future looked like young man who needs a rest. A long summer at the under 20 World Cup, and now straight in to the unforgiving Gallagher Premiership looks to have taken its’ toll.

It was clear to see that Bath were targeting the ten channel, and unless the front eight of Quins can up their physical game so they can protect their young outside half, it may be time to give 23-year-old Lang a starting berth.  


Jamie Roberts opened the scoring early on Saturday and he was colossal for the visitors. It begs the question how Quins didn’t get that level of performance from his last season?

Now, with the 10-12-13 axis consisting of Smith, Ben Tapuai and Joe Marchant, the ball seems to be spread wide earlier with very little option of taking the ball directly up the middle.

Paul Lasike was brought on in the second half and the effects of having a powerful carrier was evident. His constant direct pummelling of the Bath back line ultimately drew holes where Quins crossed for two scores. It’s clear, more direct = more points.


As Gustard said, until their late rally they “hadn’t really fired a shot.”

Over the years Quins have been a team on the front foot, relying on their attacking play to win matches.

This season they seem to be trying to win the game from defending, and it’s not working.

Bath were impressive in attack, with both Joe’s (Rokoduguni and Cokasagina) rightly dominating post-match headlines, but Quins seemed to play in to their hands.

It’s often been said ‘attack is the best form of defence,’ and with Quins fragility in defence this should surely be their mantra until solutions to their defensive frailty are found.

Gustard is confident he and his team will find the answers to turn the corner. I believe him, but there is a long list of ‘work-ons’ if Quins are realistically going to challenge the top half this season.