O'Shea admits Quins fortunate against Irish
October 28, 2012
Quins boss Conor O'Shea relieved to get away with win%]
Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea was quick to admit his side were lucky to claim a 31-28 victory over London Irish in their Aviva Premiership clash at the Madejski Stadium in Sunday.
Quins centre Tom Casson appeared to knock the ball on as he pounced for a last-minute match-winning score but the Television Match Official Graham Hughes ruled the ball had come off his knee and therefore allowed the score to stand.
Scrum-half Danny Care and winger Tom Williams also crossed for the defending champions who returned to winning ways and the top of the league after back-to-back Premiership defeats - but O'Shea admitted the result could have easily gone the other way.
"We know that at the end of the season you look back and you have games like this," he said. "It's a massive four points for us to come away with because Irish played well and it's a tough place to come.
"I think we really picked up the intensity in the final five or six minutes after we went behind and that was crucial. The whole team picked up in intensity and we saw more people carrying, more people getting into the game and looking for the ball.
"Everyone forgets certain games at the end of the season - it's all about playing your best all season and fortunately this was one we got away with without playing at our best."
Commenting on Casson's controversial score, O'Shea said: "I think if you watch it in real time it doesn't look like a try, it's a great piece of covering work by Armitage. But by the letter of the law it's a try so I think it was a good decision and it's why we have the TMO system."
Irish director of rugby Brian Smith question TMO call%]
London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith did not agree with the TMO having seen a gutsy effort from his side - that included a try for centre Guy Armitage and 23 points for fly-half Ian Humphreys - rewarded with just a losing bonus point.
"The guy who had the responsibility made his call and while I don't agree with it there might be some who do," he said. "The key thing for us is to take the spotlight off the incident at the end and focus elsewhere - we're a good team.
"We played well against the champions of England and I think we deserved the win, but at the same time if you ask yourself, 'Could that game have gone either way?', you have to say, 'Yes, it probably could have'.
"They are one hell of a team, they probably have a couple of years' head start on us on where we want to be and fair play to Conor and his boys - they won the game and that's what matters."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Ireland have the world sitting up and taking notice - and rugby's structure in Europe will aid their Rugby World Cup bid, writes John Mitchell
Where does Italy's win over Scotland rank among their successes in the Six Nations? Scrum Sevens investigates
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown