Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

O'Shea chirpy after success

Conor O'Shea is happy to see his side deny the opposition any bonus points

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea was delighted to come away from the Sportsground with the spoils after a 30-22 win over Connacht.

Ben Botica kicked 20 points on his first Heineken Cup start for Quins, while his half-back partner Danny Care was crowned man-of-the-match after scoring two crucial tries.

Speaking afterwards, O'Shea said: "We are very comfortable to have nine points (after our first two pool matches). To have denied both Biarritz and Connacht a losing bonus point is a huge thing."

He added: "We have put ourselves in a very good position, but we learned a lesson two weeks ago in Exeter. If we mess around and don't come with our 'game heads' on, any team can do a job and we want to do a job in six or eight weeks' time (against Zebre)."

With Care's try double before the break, there was a sense that Quins might kick on with the wind behind them. However, O'Shea was mindful of what a difficult place Galway can be to get a win at.

"Do you come here and have an easy ride? I have been coming here all my life and you don't," he admitted. "When a team base a lot of their season around one match, you see the build-up around it, you feel the crowd and you give them that bit of energy by getting your defensive line wrong in the first try - well, you are going to be in a game."

Meanwhile, Connacht head coach Eric Elwood was left to rue that 11-minute spell before half-time during which Quins scored 15 points without reply.

"We were leading 19-9 at that stage and they got 15 unanswered points. One of them (the Care tries) was a soft set piece try. They are a good side and once you give them the ball they are just so good," he said.

"At half-time it was 65-35 per cent possession and you cannot give teams like Harlequins that amount of possession.

"We had a plan that we wanted to attack from deep - there is no point kicking to a team like Harlequins. It was a full house and we wanted to challenge them and we showed that with the possession in the first half. Unfortunately we did not get enough in the second half."

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