by Renee Israel
Harlequins will face their first real challenge of the 2012-13 season
of the Aviva Premiership Rugby when they clash with Leicester Tigers on
Saturday, September 22 at Welford Road.
The earlier three encounters for Harlequins were with London Wasps, London
Welsh and Sale Sharks. Harlequins are at the top of the table with 15 points
from three wins. Leicester Tigers are in the third spot with 12 points from two
wins and a tie.
Leicester Tigers Versus Harlequins In Aviva Rugby
Leicester Tigers have not lost a home game in the Aviva Premiership Rugby
since October 2010. That loss was to Harlequins. Undoubtedly this will provide
much inspiration to the Tigers coming into the clash with Harlequins.
However, their performance in the Round 3 fixture against Saracens is a
source of worry. This was a low scoring game that ended in a 9-9 tie. The
problem was that Leicester Tigers raced to a 9-0 lead before squandering it
Lock forward Graham Kitchener and flanker Julian Salvi both pointed out that
too many mistakes had been made in the Saracens game. The line out was not good
enough, there were uncalled for unforced errors and the discipline should have
Leicester Tigers will be reviewing their mistakes and fine tuning the game
plan against Harlequins, who have a different dynamics than Saracens.
Harlequins have a different kind of problem altogether. There seems to be
disconnect between their director of rugby Conor O'Shea and the team. In the
Round 3 match against Sale Sharks the team explicitly disobeyed the director's
instructions and went for the additional bonus point.
O'Shea commented after the game that he was happy that his team did not
listen to him. But he added that it would be arrogant to assume that Harlequins
would earn a bonus point in every game. Harlequins have managed three bonus
points from three outings so far in this season of the Aviva Premiership Rugby.
Bonus points are important because they provide a cushion against occasional
losses that even the best of teams have to bear.
Leicester Tigers vs Harlequins Betting Odds
After factoring in all the pluses and minuses the handicappers at the online
betting sites have posted Leicester Tigers as the firm favourites to win this
Aviva Premiership Rugby matchup. That Harlequins are the reigning champions and
the table leaders so far has cut no ice with the online betting sites..
Bet365 online has posted the following odds.
Leicester Tigers 4/11
Paddy Power is marginally more bullish on Leicester Tigers with the following
Leicester Tigers 1/3
Both Leicester Tigers and Saracens have shorter odds than Harlequins to win
the 2012-13 season of the Aviva Premiership Rugby.