Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

O'Shea plays down flying start

Conor O'Shea is not reading too much into Harlequins' perfect start to the season

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea is refusing to get carried away by his side's winning start to the season, insisting it is still "very early days".

The reigning champions are in their familiar position at the top of the Aviva Premiership standings after the 37-14 victory over Sale at The Stoop left them with three wins out of three.

"I am pretty happy to take 15 points from the 15 points available. Every game is a tough proposition at this level but it is very early days," he said.

The Quins had to wait until the last minute to secure their fourth try through Mike Brown but they should have secured their bonus point far earlier.

O'Shea said: "It was a far from perfect performance, we didn't protect the ball enough and started to force it too much. There was one offload too many and we lost the penalty count 12-10 which is unusual for us.

"However, we like playing with tempo, the players like playing with risks and wouldn't enjoy it if they didn't do so."

Next week Harlequins will test their unbeaten start at Leicester, and O'Shea said: "We will have to improve a hell of a lot because it's different gravy up there at Welford Road."

The battling Sharks were unlucky to be on the receiving end of such a heavy defeat as they led 8-7 on the half hour but had no answer to the tempo of Quins' game.

Sale coach Bryan Redpath said: "The scoreline is not a fair reflection. However, we coughed up too much possession and gave away a soft try just before half-time.

"Danny Cipriani missed a couple of pots at goal but we looked dangerous in parts. Discipline let us down and our set-piece didn't function."

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