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Moody: LV= Cup final could be just the start for Harlequins

12 March 2013

  • Harlequins to face Sale Sharks in LV= Cup final
  • Moody insists the smart money is on Harlequins
LV= Cup Ambassador Lewis Moody

Photo: RFU Archive

Conor O'Shea's side overcame a full-strength Bath Rugby in their semi-final as a blistering start featuring tries from Tom Guest and Tom Williams gave them a lead they never relinquished in the 31-23 victory.

And although Bath fought back through the boot of Tom Heathcote, the defending Aviva Premiership champions stood firm – a resolve epitomised by man-of-the-match Luke Wallace, justifying his nomination for the LV= Cup Breakthrough Player award.

Moody was a member of the Leicester side that won three consecutive Aviva Premiership titles from 2000-03 and became the first to retain the Heineken Cup in 2002.

And with a number of first-choice players absent on international duty, Moody admits the confidence, consistency and will to win displayed by Quins' youngsters reminds him of the Leicester side with who he achieved so much.

"Bath had a full-strength side out but Harlequins did a convincing job and they deserve full credit for that," said Moody. "The academy that Dean Richards introduced when he was there has paid dividends.

"If you look at the players that have come through and how some are now at international level it is impressive. Players like Luke Wallace have been more consistent and now he has been nominated for Breakthrough Player of the Year.

"It was a game and a competition Bath really saw themselves winning and they are disappointed to see a young side score two tries in the opening ten minutes.

"The youngsters did the job and held out at the end when Bath threw the kitchen sink at them but they have shown they have the ability to perform under pressure.

"It reminds me of the Leicester side in the early 2000s when even if the internationals were away you had guys coming in and still winning. That just continues the confidence and perception in their minds that they believe they can win every game.

"And some may even feel they can keep the current internationals out of the side when they return and that competition for places is what every club needs."

Theirs for the losing – Moody

With opponents Sale Sharks currently experiencing a far more difficult domestic season than their cup final opponents, Moody insists the smart money is on Harlequins when the two sides step out at Sixways on Sunday.

"It is really theirs for the losing. With the form they have shown and despite the fact they are missing a number of guys, they have still have the quality to rely on," he added.

"It will be a really interesting end to the season as they are still in all three competitions and there are three sides that look like they are capable of winning the Aviva Premiership."

Tickets for the LV= Cup Final on Sunday 17 March at Sixways Stadium, Worcester are now on sale. Buy yours - from £20 - from Ticketmaster or from 0844 8440444


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