O'Shea savours upset
January 1, 2011
Northampton's Ben Foden and Soane Tonga'uiha face upto defeat © Getty Images
Harlequins coach Conor O'Shea revealed his pride after his team pulled off a tremendous 16-13 victory over Aviva Premiership leaders Northampton at Franklin's Gardens.
The Quins overcame the loss of John Andress and Nick Easter to the sin bin as they became the first team to win at Northampton this season.
O'Shea said: "It was a tremendous result in adversity. It's as adverse as you could get, 10-3 down at Franklin's Gardens with only 13 players. You can't coach that, it is all down to the hearts of the players and I am so proud of them."
Scrum-half Danny Care scored the decisive try in the second half when he charged down Stephen Myler's kick. O'Shea was complimentary of Care's performance, saying: "For the first 10 minutes of the second half when we were down to 13 men Danny was excellent in marshalling our side as we moved the ball from side to side to waste time."
Harlequins had not won away from The Stoop in the Premiership this season, but put that right to start their year in style. O'Shea said: "I am really pleased that we have broken our away day hoodoo and this gets us back in the mix in the Premiership. It's the most competitive one that I have known."
Northampton coach Jim Mallinder gave a straightforward explanation for his team's defeat He said: "We didn't play well enough, the Quins came here with a certain plan. They stopped our maul and stopped us getting into any rhythm.
"The first 10 minutes of the second half were crucial we didn't look after the ball during that time. We gave away three penalties and ran into touch twice."
Mallinder also commented on the Quins try, saying: "I am disappointed that we gave away a try from such a good scrum. We have to be more accurate than that. We lost the game here but it is not the end of the world and we are still in a really good position."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton