Aviva Premiership: Harlequins’ Ugo Monye targets play-off spot

Harlequins winger Ugo Monye says securing an Aviva Premiership play-off place against Wasps is all the incentive they need

Sportsbeat
By Sportsbeat
nick easter
Harlequins winger Ugo Monye Photo: cx1uk, via Flickr

nick easter

Harlequins winger Ugo Monye insists securing an Aviva Premiership play-off place against Wasps on Saturday is all the incentive they need to recover from their European hangover.

The Amlin Challenge Cup holders saw their campaign ended at the quarter-final stage as Toulon ran out convincing 37-8 victors in the south of France last Friday.

Monye though believes the greater prize lies in maintaining their place at the summit of the Aviva Premiership, a position strengthened by their defeat of champions Saracens at Wembley two weeks.

One more win will guarantee Conor O’Shea’s men a play-off berth and a potential home tie at that according to results elsewhere.

That, Monye admits is virgin territory for Quins who have only finished in the top four once in the last ten years, but the 28-year-old knows that won’t be an easy task with Wasps fighting for their lives.

“The Toulon defeat was disappointing but you have to bury those thoughts and it will be great to come back home and treat the fans,” he said.

“But it has made us even more focused on the Premiership, although some players will not have been in this position before.

“I have been at the club for ten years and have never been top at this stage of the season.

“But I don’t think a lack of experience will hinder our progress. The best thing about our squad is that we have been together for so many years. We have grown together and we have learnt from our mistakes.

“Although we may not be that experienced in competing in the play-offs, I think our youthful exuberance and our style of rugby will hopefully get us through.

“So you can’t emphasise enough how big a game it is. I thought Wasps were fantastic against Biarritz last week. They played a really good set-piece with a good line-out.”

Following the Wasps match, Quins face a tricky trip to Leicester in the penultimate regular season match.

And another trip to Welford Road is a scenario Monye wants to avoid at all costs in the play-offs.

He added: “We are in the business end of the season now and this is where it all counts. To go into the play-offs in good form is key, and I think the team which carries the most momentum will stand the best chance.

“But I think getting a home semi-final is vital. Our home form has been pretty decent this season and we have only lost a couple of games.

“You look at the top four teams in the Premiership and it is always tough to go away to those places.

“We have never finished top before but it would be a massive milestone if we could.”

If you buy a ticket for this year’s Aviva Premiership Final on 26 May you will receive a free rugby shirt. Go to www.premiershiprugby.com/freeshirt to buy yours

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