Harlequins were handed the unenviable task of kicking off their campaign against defending champions Exeter Chiefs, the latter proving they are still in a rampant form with a 33-3 thrashing of the former.
This week, Quins travel to Franklins Gardens to take on Saints in the second match-up of the tournament.
Saints were undone by Sale in Round 1, battling to stem the tide of a powerful pack of Sale forwards who ground down their opponents systematically as the game progressed.
Quins appeared to attempt to take Exeter on with a kicking game which did not serve them well – squandering possession which would have been better used in hand. Given the result, one would imagine that Stephan Lewies’ charges will try this week to maintain their possession significantly longer.
Surprisingly, Saints enjoyed advantage in both possession (60%) and territory (57%) against Sale and will thus have focussed heavily on their finishing in practice this past week, hoping it yields results come game-day.
In the last season, home-ground advantage seemed to be a significant factor when these two teams met.
The first encounter was in Round 3 at Franklins Gardens where Saints posted a convincing 40-22 victory.
The second clash occurred at Twickenham Stoop and saw the tables turn as Quins put up a 30-17 win to even the score. The men in the quartered jerseys will hope that that trend will not replicate itself when they take the pitch at Franklins Gardens.