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Derek Williams stays away and contemplates his navel

Yesterday I was unable to watch the Harlequins’ away Premiership match against Sale (a 23-25 victory).

This was because, although I’ve been to see Quins play away against Sale twice before [at their old ground, a bit of an ordeal because it was in a pretty primitive state], I wasn’t in the travelling mood.

Furthermore, the match wasn’t being broadcast ‘live’ on either Sky Sports or BT Sport and – when I tried to find a link to an internet stream via the Quins’ fans’ website – my McAfee security system wouldn’t let me download the software needed to play the coverage. It kept bringing up a box with a message to the effect “Whoa! Are you sure – we reckon this is not a secure site …” and, although there was a click-option to ‘override’ the warning – which, of course, I clicked – this only took me back to the start of the sequence again and repeated it.

Accordingly I was left with the dregs of catching up with the score long after the match was over.

The Quins fan’s website chat-room was claiming that Wayne Barnes – one of the referees we love to hate – had left Sale get away with a glaring ‘knock on’ right in front of his eyes at one crucial point, which (I’m afraid) only goes to cement Mr Barnes as an anti-Quins official in our minds, a reputation he will now never lose, even if he should carry on refereeing until the age of 75.

Our captain Joe Marler was a late withdrawal from the game – today I read this was due to a long-term shoulder injury he’s been living with. Why he’s bothered to ‘carry on’ suffering from it I cannot fathom, given that injury-free shoulders are what you’d have thought were the first things that a person playing prop needs! Anyway, he’s now going to have a ‘corrective’ operation which shouldn’t keep him out too long – i.e. at least he’ll be available for England at the Rugby World Cup, if not for Quins.

By the newspaper accounts, it seems Quins played well yesterday – not something that happens every time we go on the road, if I’m being honest, and frankly – given this awful season – a bit of a welcome turn-around.

I still haven’t renewed my season tickets yet, despite several reminders in the Quins literature coming my way. It’s not so much the cost, it’s the fact that our form has been so dreadful that match days have been ordeals rather than pleasurable experiences. Could I take another whole season of similar once again?

At my age, I’m increasingly falling prey to feelings that I’ve got better things to do with my time than risk experiencing another 2014/2015 of self-inflicted masochism.  Only my residual devotion to the club crest and its history refuse to ‘let go’ … they’re really the only things in my brain not screaming “To hell with it!” … but are they enough on their own to make me sign on for another year?

About Derek Williams

A recently-retired actuary, the long-suffering Derek has been a Quins fan for the best part of three decades. More Posts