Harlequins won the Premiership for the first time in their history back in 2012, but their time in the league has been as patchwork in nature as their kit. The multi-coloured advocates of expansive English rugby certainly throw up a few surprises as we look at the statistics.
Biggest win: 52-0 against London Welsh at The Stoop on 4th October 2014. On that eventful afternoon the Mighty Quins scored seven tries, with scores from Mike Brown (3), Danny Care (11), a brace from Marland Yarde (40, 78), Matt Hopper (44), a penalty try (64) and a final try from scrum-half Karl Dickson (66). Nick Evans converted all seven.
Most tries: Even though Harlequins scored seven tries back in October 2014, their highest number of tries in one match was an impressive ten against Worcester at The Stoop on 1st April 2009. In a game with a final scoreline of 60-14, club stalwart Nick Easter earning himself a hat-trick in the process.
As evidence to support Harlequins’ reputation for being an attack-minded team, they have scored seven tries on four other occasions and six on another twelve.
Most penalty goals: When the club defeated Bath away from home last season on 31st October, they racked up eight penalties all scored by fly-half Nick Evans. Just before Evans was replaced by Ben Botica on the 72nd minute mark, Quins were 38-16 ahead – before late tries by Nick Auterac and Semesa Rokoduguni made the scoreline a more flattering 38-28.
Most consecutive games without defeat: Harlequins went ten games without defeat between 3rd September and 4th December 2011, the same season which saw the side lift their first ever Premiership trophy.s
Most consecutive games without a win: In contrast, Quins went through far harder times in the first half of the ‘noughties’ with a run of nine games between May and November 2004 seeing them without any victory whatsoever, with Harlequins being relegated at the end of the campaign. Then, between March and October 2006 they again lost nine matches in a row – this with a season in the old ‘National Division One’ sandwiched in the middle, as the side looked to re-establish itself in the Premiership.
Most team wins in a season: In the year when Harlequins won the Premiership, they recorded an impressive 19 out of 24 victories, drawing one and losing only four (an 81.25% success rate). Their next most successful season in terms of victories was way back in 1998/99 when they achieved 16 wins out of 26.
Most matches: Can you guess? Recently-retired Nick Easter notched up 184 matches in the Premiership between 2004 and 2016, with just ten of those games seeing him on the bench. He also managed to score 24 Premiership tries in that time. All in all not bad for a player who didn’t play in the top flight until he was 26.
Most tries: Wing Ugo Monye racked up 52 tries from 166 matches, with current England full-back Mike Brown in second place on 50 from 172 appearances. Danny Care is in third with 42 from 144 and Minty fifth behind Tom Williams on 27.
Most points in a season: John Schuster still holds the record for most points in a season with 331 from 22 games, including five tries, 36 conversions, 77 penalties and a drop goal during the 1998/99 season. Nick Evans is in second place with 266 points from 2011/2012 and Paul Burke third with 258 from 2001/02.
Most points in a match: Nick Evans, John Schuster and Paul Burke have all scored 28 points for their club in a single match, with Schuster doing so against Bath in November 1998 (2 tries, 3 conversions and a penalty), Burke against Saracens in November 2001 (1 try, 4 conversions and 5 penalties) and Nick Evans last season against Bath in October (2 conversions, 8 penalties).
Highest percentage of matches won: Scrum-half Chris Wright won 17 of the 25 matches he appeared in (68%), but 20 of those were from the bench. Sam Smith, who sadly recently announced his retirement, won 31 of the 46 matches he played in (67.39%) with 36 starts. Back rower Maurie Fa’asvalu won 36 of the 55 games he featured in, or a winning percentage of 65.45%.
Local derby statistic: Given that Harlequins have been one of the few genuine ‘London’ clubs throughout the Premiership era, we have taken the liberty of classing Saracens as their nearest geographical rivals given their prolonged stay at Watford’s Vicarage Road stadium.
Ugo Monye scored five tries against Saracens across 16 matches, although won only 25% of those games – showing that Saracens have always been a tough opponent for Twickenham’s finest.
Paul Wassell, Pundit Arena