O'Shea: Players driven by pain
March 26, 2011
Harlequins skipper Chris Robshaw secures the lineout ball at the Stoop © Getty Images
Harlequins' imperious 53-15 Aviva Premiership demolition of in-form Gloucester came due to the players' overriding feelings of "pain" and "hurt", according to director of rugby Conor O'Shea.
The Londoners have slipped to three defeats in their last four Premiership matches and fell to a heartbreaking 21-20 home defeat to Newcastle Falcons in the Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-final last time out. Gloucester came into the match on the back of an 11-game winning streak and fresh from victory in the final of the Anglo-Welsh cup last Sunday. But a hat-trick from Ugo Monye and a superb kicking display from Rory Clegg helped dismantle the visitors to the delight of O'Shea.
"It came from a combination of a lot of hurt we felt from a couple of weeks ago and the run we have been having," he said. "Anybody that was down here and watched the Newcastle game in the LV= Cup would have seen some fantastic rugby but we just didn't finish.
"At times we probably played better rugby in that game [than we did today]. And with Gloucester you are bound to have a comedown of some sorts when you win a bit of silverware and then they were hit by a team that had a lot of pain, a lot of hurt.
"It showed last week when Ireland came out [against England in the Six Nations] with a lot of pain and hurt what you can do and we went about it in the right way. We try and play rugby and we always will. Nick [Easter], Danny [Care] and George Robson coming back into the team gave us a bit of experience around all the youth that we have and was a massive thing today.
"We have gone through a period of six or seven weeks where we have not been just missing Nick or Danny, but we've had Tom Guest, Karl Dickson, Nick Evans, George Robson, Ollie Smith, George Lowe all out injured.
"It happens to everyone, a lot of young guys stepped up and I am delighted to have a bit of momentum back in our season. There is still a lot to play for."
Gloucester head coach Bryan Redpath admitted it was his side's worst performance in two years and "unacceptable" from his players.
"We were dreadful," he said. "I think Quins had more energy than us, that was pretty obvious. I thought they looked a bit more energised than we did but, on the whole, I thought we were dreadful.
"We fell off tackles today that we hadn't fallen off previously and made it pretty easy to score against us on certain occasions. In the first half the game was gone at 24-3 because we never controlled any field position or possession. It happened we have got to get on with it and deal with it."
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