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Conor O'Shea excited by season ahead after Harlequins defeat Wasps

Published 16/10/2015

Harlequins coach Conor O'Shea is excited by the new season after victory over Wasps.
Harlequins coach Conor O'Shea is excited by the new season after victory over Wasps.

Conor O'Shea admits he cannot wait to see what is in store for Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership season after hailing his side's opening 26-21 victory over Wasps as the best since he has been at the helm.

With new recruits such as Adam Jones, James Horwill and Jamie Roberts arriving - with just the latter not in action at the Stoop on Friday night - expectation within Quins is high this term after finishing eighth last season.

And O'Shea's side ensured they got off to the ideal start as Nick Evans and George Lowe scored tries, with the former adding a further 16 points with the boot.

It was far from plain sailing for the home side as Jake Cooper-Woolley grabbed the game's first try and after three Jimmy Gopperth penalties. Elliot Daly struck late on to send nerves jangling.

But Quins held on and director of rugby O'Shea was full of praise for his troops.

"I am disappointed that we didn't win probably by more in the end because I thought we dominated the game and played some really good stuff," said O'Shea.

"That's as well as we've played first game of the season since the six seasons I've been here.

"We have loads to work on, loads of execution, but we're going to be a good side this year.

"I thought [Matthew] Luamanu was big, you wouldn't want to get hit by him and he carried hard. We're going to become a very strong side this year, I'm very excited.

"Someone said to me during the week 'you look like you've got a lot of players out there' and I said no that's just the normal squad, we just haven't had it for a couple of years."

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young is refusing to hit the panic button despite failing to secure a Premiership round one victory for the first time since 2011.

"You've got to give Quins a lot of credit," Young said.

"I thought we had a lot of possession in the right areas, we had something like six minutes inside their 22 and come away with very little.

"On the flip side of that, I think they've had a minute and a half inside our 22 and come away with two tries.

"They were far more clinical than us, we didn't play well, you've got to play well to get the victory here.

"There wasn't any really poor individual performances. There wasn't anything disastrous out there, but we just didn't click.

"I'll not panic. We want to play an offloading game, because it's obviously harder to defend, but we don't want to throw the ball away and on at least two occasions we were a yard short and threw the ball away. We have to respect the ball a little bit more.

"We got a bonus point. I'm never happy to lose, but probably to come away with a bonus when perhaps with 15 minutes to go that looked unlikely, we've got to be happy with that, lick our wounds and be better next week."

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