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Nic Ladds 18th Jul 2009 - 15:00

Quins unlikely to taste success at French fortress

Harlequins travel to the Stade Gilbert Brutus as huge underdogs at odds of 4/1 with their French hosts Catalans priced as short as 1/7 in the betting.

The price does look fairly short as it is mainly based on the fact Catalans have a reputation for being extremely tough to beat at their Perpignan home which they are, as in recent times only high flyers Leeds and St Helens have managed narrow victories.

Harlequins meanwhile seem to have lost their way as they have lost their last four matches in a row making a trip to take on Catalans look an extremely daunting prospect.

The fact that they have been battered by wide margins in three of those four matches may have punters clamouring to take the 8/11 on offer about a victory with the home side giving up 14 points with Quins at 11/10 in receipt of the 14.

Both sides have been dealt blows with injury problems with Catalans missing Adam Mogg, Jason Croker and Jerome Guisset, while Harlequins miss most notably Chad Randall along with some other big names meaning youngsters have been drafted in to the squad to make up the numbers.

With some inexperienced players drafted in and judging from previous recent scorelines we can expect a high scoring game but it may not be totally one sided.

Catalans' two games that they did lose were very close and Quins will be desperate to get their season back on track and are likely to run in some tries so a winning margin of 6-10 to the home side at 11/2 looks about right.

For those who want a bigger range then the dozen winning margins market could be the one to dabble in with a victory by 1-12 points to Catalans 9/4 with the same margin in favour of Harlequins 5/1.

If Quins bounce back to their best they have every chance of beating the French side but given their current run and Catalans formidable home record, a home victory is favoured but at the same time Harlequins to cover the 14 points handicap looks a fair bet in what should be a very entertaining game between two inconsistent sides with outside aspirations of play off place.

Recommendation:
Harlequins +14 points - 11/10

Catalans to win by 6-10 points - 11/2

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