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We have no chance of making last eight: Kingston

 

By Jonathan Bradley

Harlequins Director of Rugby John Kingston admitted his side have no hope of making the Champions Cup quarter-finals after Ulster consigned them to a third defeat in as many games in this season's competition at the Twickenham Stoop yesterday.

Four penalties from John Cooney and a lone Jacob Stockdale try were enough to hand the visitors a 17-5 win, with the result meaning there is little at stake but pride for Harlequins when the sides do it all again at Kingspan Stadium on Friday night.

"We're out of it now, I'm not going to be splitting hairs or anything like that," Kingston said of his side's European campaign.

"We can't qualify when we've lost three matches. It's disappointing because we haven't been in this tournament for three years. Realistically we weren't going to spring in after that and start dominating Europe.

"But what we've got to do is, for the three games left, learn lessons so that if and when we are back in this competition we can make more of a fist of it.

"Against La Rochelle we were excellent, against Wasps we let ourselves down, and here it was nip and tuck but we didn't get the win we needed."

With just a five-day turnaround to the second leg of this back-to-back, Kingston added that, given his injury problems, he may not have much chance to rotate things even with big Premiership clashes over the festive period in mind.

"We've got to show some pride and what we are on Friday night," he said. "Selection won't be difficult because I'm not sure I have 23 fit players who are registered.

"We've got to dust ourselves down a bit and get ready for it. We have to reset where we are and I've already had a chat with the guys about that.

"There's everything to play for in the Premiership, we're only a few points of the top four, and in the Anglo-Welsh but we're out of Europe."

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