O'Shea salutes Quins' character
January 8, 2011
Mike Brown leads Harlequins off the field after their victory over Wasps at the Stoop © Getty Images
Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea was enthused by the resilience his players displayed in Saturday's hard-fought 17-10 victory over London Wasps at the Stoop.
Joe Marler, Mike Brown and Nick Easter all touched down as Quins helped themselves into a ten-point lead by the break, with Wasps managing nothing more than a solitary try from Richard Haughton by way of a response.
The hosts did not even come close to adding to their tally during a second half in which they were thoroughly dominated. They stood firm, though, restricting Wasps to a solitary penalty from Dave Walder to climb above their opponents into fourth in the Aviva Premiership standings.
"The first half was a cracking game of rugby from both sides and then for 40 minutes of the second half we just did not have the ball, couldn't get out of our half and you credit that to Wasps," O'Shea said.
"Our guys were tired and when you are defending, defending, defending, it becomes harder and harder. But we are delighted - three wins over Christmas against London Irish, Northampton and Wasps is a pretty good return for us."
Indeed, O'Shea believes the result underlined that Quins, who upset Northampton at Franklin's Gardens last weekend, are a coming force in English rugby.
"We feel we are going to get stronger and stronger as a team this year and in years to come and we can play better rugby than we did today," he said. "But we're where we wanted to be. We're also in the mix in the LV and the Amlin and we have a few tired bodies after this Christmas because they've given a huge amount.
"Defence reflects attitude and you just cannot question what this team mean and do for one another. They were out on their feet, quite frankly, and it's tough to keep on coming back but I'm so proud of them and what they have done over this Christmas."
Meanwhile, Wasps director of rugby Tony Hanks was left frustrated by his side's inability to turn their pressure into points.
"We lacked composure a couple of times when we created breaks and opportunities," he said. "We had enough possession, our forwards did enough in terms of set-piece to give us the platform to win the game, but we forced a couple of chances and there were a couple of knock-ons.
"The last three or four minutes were disappointing for us in that we probably just panicked a little bit and were trying to score off every pass."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
As Ray McLoughlin prepares to celebrate his 75th birthday, Huw Richards pays tribute to the man and the selectors who had the wisdom to bring him into the Ireland fold
John Taylor argues the world's best XVs players must be given a chance to play in the Olympics to increase the appeal of the game
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament