Easter delights in "Hollywood" heroics
May 22, 2011
Nick Evans slots a penalty during his side's stunning win over Stade Francais © Getty Images
Harlequins No.8 Nick Easter has described his side's dramatic Amlin Challenge Cup Final victory over Stade Francais as "unbelievably Hollywood" and backed them to kick on in next season's Heineken Cup.
Quins were trailing 18-12 with five minutes remaining having been outplayed for much of the second half at Cardiff City Stadium on Friday night. But winger Gonzalo Camacho's last-gasp try and fly-half Nick Evans's conversion saw the Premiership side edge out their Top 14 rivals to claim the second-tier title for the third time and more importantly book their place amongst Europe's elite.
"It was unbelievably Hollywood that it should finish like that because that was the only decent bit of rugby that we played in the second half," said Easter. "The clock was running down pretty fast and they were very much in control for the second half.
"But we just kept saying that all we needed was one try, we are always a threat and we just needed to be better with ball in hand. We were sensible, we held on to the ball and we always knew that if we held on to the ball we would get chances and we took one."
The 19-18 victory ensures that Quins will return to Europe's premier club competition having missed out this term and Easter believes that their recent experience will hold them in good stead.
"It's the first final most of us have been in at club level and we've come out on the right side, albeit quite lucky, but we've won it and I think that we can kick on from there because once you have had that experience you'll be better for it," he said.
Evans was named Man of the Match for his performance in the final and Easter joked that the former All Black had been spurred on in an effort to impress the French outfit - having also kicked Quins to victory against them back in 2008. "He likes playing against this lot and I think he is still trying to get a contract with them," he said.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September