Blues have to be on song to beat Quins: Williams

Cardiff Blues have kept themselves in the Pool 5 mix and they go to the Twickenham Stoop on Sunday with the group double over Harlequins the very least they need to keep an active interest in European club rugby in early April.

The 36-19 home win over Sale Sharks, albeit a try short of what would have been a priceless bonus point, leaves the Blues and Sale level on 13 points with Toulouse out of sight as Pool winners and automatic Heineken Cup quarter-final qualification.

But for the Blues it is crunch time if they are to make the last eight for the third straight season and have the chance of easing the hurt of last season’s Millennium Stadium semi-final kicking competition defeat by Leicester Tigers.

Wales and British and Irish Lions flanker Martyn Williams suffered more than most as the Blues went out 7-6 to the Tigers in the first penalty shoot-out and getting his hands on a Heineken Cup winners’ medal remains a major ambition.

“That remains a huge ambition of mine – especially as we got so close last year and it means everything to us,” said Williams.

“And while we pride ourselves on what we have done over the last few years, against Sale it was a must win game and we are still in with the chance of staying in the tournament.

“We always knew we had to win our last two group games so nothing much has changed. We know we have to win at Harlequins – we have done the first bit and now we have to carry that on in London on Saturday.

“We wanted to set ourselves up with something to aim for over the last weekend and in that respect we have done what we had to do.
“However, we know that Harlequins are pretty good at home so for us it is a case of building on this win and being more consistent.

“Harlequins are still very good side with a solid spine and in players like Nick Easter, Nick Evans and Ugo Monye they have world class players so it is going to be very difficult up there as they will have home advantage.”

The 20-6 win over Harlequins in Round 1 made it 4-2 plus a draw in the seven tournament meetings between the sides but while for Harlequins their tournament is over, the Blues could also be in the running for Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final qualification as one of the Heineken Cup runners-up.

“Whether it is to get through to the Amlin Challenge Cup or staying in with a shout for the Heineken Cup quarters nothing has changed,” added Williams.

“Our tight five were unbelievable against Sale and all in all it was quite pleasing – I guess we would have taken that score before the game.

“We perhaps should have kicked on but they defended and scrambled well and now we need to go away next week and put in the same kind of performance.

“When we have had all our boys available we have done well and been a difficult side to beat but when we have a couple of guys missing it hasn’t been the same.

“Thankfully everyone is fit and raring to go for what is a huge game for us.”

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