Amy Turner: Sale win a 'massive confidence builder' ahead of Twickenham clash with Exeter

Amy Turner's side currently sit in the top four of the Allianz Premier 15s
©JMP for Harlequins

Harlequins Women's Head Coach Amy Turner believes their second-half comeback against Sale Sharks last Sunday sets them up well for this weekend's Big Game 14.

Quins came from 14-10 down to win 31-21 away at Sale with tries from Hannah Sims, Amy Cokayne, Bella McKenzie, Emily Chancellor and Freya Aucken.

Turner believes the way they fought back in the North West will have increased belief in the squad as they prepare to face Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham on Saturday.

"Massive confidence builder for our group," Turner reflected. "We needed to come out and score first and get that momentum and we did that and I’m proud of the players.

“It’s good for the confidence of the squad. “It sets us up well. We needed to get as much out of that performance as we could and I think we started well. We just needed to get that momentum into the week so that we face Exeter how we want to."

Quins leapfrogged Bristol Bears into fourth position in the Allianz Premier 15s table thanks to last week's bonus point win and Turner's side have made the play-offs every year since the league was created in 2017.

Despite the victory in a tough northern away trip, Turner still wants to see more improvement from her side.

"Credit to Sale, they came out and started really well, physical and were up for the game,” she said. "We need to be able to do the same, start well, respect what we are trying to do, respect our possession and play on top."

With Exeter Chiefs coming into this Saturday's game off the back of 11 straight wins and currently leading the AP15s standings, it is a tricky assignment that awaits Quins at England HQ.

The only loss the Devon side have had all season was their campaign opener against second-placed Gloucester-Hartpury.

After trailing Sale 14-10 at half-time thanks to tries from Sharks’ captain Georgie Perris-Redding and Vicky A Irwin, Turner is keen to make sure her side uses the ball better going forward.

She said: "We had lots of attacking opportunities. "I think in the first half, we needed to respect the possession a little bit better. We needed to retain the ball for multi-phase, we lost it a lot in early phases."

They reacted to that message well in the second half, with Quins striking first after the break when McKenzie danced her way through the defence.

The London side extended their lead five minutes later as Chancellor went over after Quins made use of an overlap on the right. Lagi Tuima then put winger Aucken through a hole to dot down their final score of the match.

When asked what her aspirations for the rest of the campaign were, Turner didn’t shy away: "We want to make the top four and then from that, we will see how far we can go."

With Exeter Chiefs coming this weekend, it is the perfect match for Quins to start a run until the end of the season as they try and reclaim the title they won in 2021.

Big Game 14 kicks off at 2:30pm on Saturday, with the men’s teams following at 5:15pm.