Ex Harlequins, England and British Lions centre Will Greenwood believes Sunday’s game between the top two teams at Allianz Park could be a “crucial swinger” to secure a home semi-final tie in the end of season play-offs.
Speaking about the Saracens v Harlequins clash, the Sky Sports pundit said: “Is it the most important game of the season so far? Well it’s a pretty crucial swinger, but you might argue that you could drop four points the next week, and then all your good work is undone.
“You never used to believe coaches when they insisted that this was the next big game, but at this time of the season, the next fixture is the biggest as there is so much to play for.”
Both Saracens and Harlequins have been at the summit of the Premiership for the majority of the season, and Greenwood believes that both sides will be desperate to secure home status in a potential semi-final in May.
“Neither of these two teams will suffer a train crash if they don’t win. They’ll both still make the top four, but it will put a dent into having that all important option of a home semi final. Saracens have shown before that you don’t necessarily need a home semi-final to get to Twickenham, but it helps.”
The significance of this weekend’s game is not lost on Greenwood and he has pinpointed Saracens defence as one of many deciding factors in Sunday’s game.
“Rugby’s such a fluid game nowadays that there are key match ups across the pitch, as your saw with the Wales vs. England game you can pinpoint one are or one match-up then something completely different dominates the game.
“Quins won’t play any differently to how they’ve played all this season. They’ll come here, and the young kids proved at the weekend in the LV=Cup final, they’ll play from absolutely everywhere and Conor O’Shea has openly admitted at times that maybe the play in areas that they shouldn’t do. But that’s their game.”
He went to say: “Saracens are playing some really good rugby at the moment, but they also have a very good, effective defensive squeeze. I like Sarries and I like Quins, both are cracking sides. With a toss of coin, and Sarries being at home, I’d have say Saracens for this one.”