Quins blog: Premiership finale is sport at its best
11:00am Wednesday 25th April 2012 in Sport
If it transpires that last Saturday’s game between Harlequins and Leicester Tigers was a rehearsal of this year’s Premiership final, most rugby fans will be excited.
Saturday's game will have had neutrals salivating at a fast paced try fest that was an exhibition of the very best of English rugby.
Having denied Quins a losing bonus point in the dying minutes, Tigers’ five game winning streak in the League has brought with it an incredible five bonus points.
Gaining 25 points in five matches has catapulted Tigers up the table and has them sitting in second place, snapping at Quins’ heels.
This week Conor O'Shea will be working hard to focus the minds of his players.
Having been at the top of the League since round three, Quins’ position at the top of the table has never looked so fragile.
A single point separates them from the resurgent Tigers.
But to turn the sporting cliché, at least Quins’ fate remains in their hands.
Win against Sale on Saturday and they win the league.
If the results go as currently expected, that would mean a home semi-final against Northampton.
Lose, and Quins may topple to third place in the final week, falling short of what they deserve given their consistency this season.
Most worryingly however, third is likely to mean an away play-off against Saracens, at Wembley.
Sport at its best is drama, and this final weekend of the Premiership is set to be an 80 minute special episode.
All Saturday's games are played concurrently to avoid teams gaining advantage from knowing another games outcome.
But Quins shouldn't need to be checking on other results; they should finish on a high.
But 'should' isn't always how sport works.
Steve Diamond's Sale team are fighting for a European place, playing for the last time at Edgeley Park and will be desperate to spoil the Harlequins party.
They will also want to send a sharp reminder that next season, bolstered by big new international signings, they will be a force to be reckoned with.
So come Saturday it's all in Quins’ hands; but look closely and you might notice a slight tremble of anticipation.