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John Kingston hailed Harlequins character after comeback win

Published 11/11/2016

John Kingston hailed Harlequins' character
John Kingston hailed Harlequins' character

Harlequins director of rugby John Kingston was delighted with his team's character in coming from behind to beat Ospreys 15-12 in the Anglo-Welsh Cup at St Helen's.

Quins scored tries through number eight George Naoupu and lock Charlie Matthews with replacement Tim Swiel kicking a conversion and a crucial late penalty.

The Ospreys tries came from wing Tom O'Flaherty and full-back Dafydd Howells with fly-half Luke Price adding a conversion.

"We didn't play particularly well in the game. It was very stop-start. We were struggling to get one or two things together in a row and get some momentum," said Kingston.

"But the thing that pleased me most was the way the players stuck together as a group of people and worked their way through it.They could have got frustrated that things weren't happening as they would have liked them.

"We didn't defend well at times and they caused us some problems with runners out wide. But the secret is that you have to just get a result when things aren't necessary going your way.

"It was also a monkey off the back in the sense that we have been losing away from home and people were starting to ask why that was happening.

"The guys stuck in well especially considering that we conceded a try so early in the game.

"To dig it out at the end (with the late penalty) was very pleasing. In the end I think we did enough to win the game."

Ospreys acting forwards coach Tom Smith was disappointed his side could not come out of the game with a victory after leading for 70 minutes.

"It's a disappointed dressing room. We probably didn't get out of the game what we deserved," said Smith.

"But I suppose being disappointed is a positive in the sense that we fielded a very young side. There were eight guys making their senior Ospreys debut and to come up against a good Harlequins outfit and lose narrowly at the end has got to be a positive moving forward.

"We had a good start but then we probably turned over too much ball to allow Harlequins into the game.

"I think we had a good go going forward but the Quins defence did slow us down and there were a few decisions (from the referee) I found hard to understand but then you have to play what is in front of you."

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