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O'Shea salutes improving Quins

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea hailed his side's battling spirit after they continued their post-Christmas winning run this afternoon to move into the Aviva Premiership championship play-off zone.

A 17-10 victory over Wasps in the London derby at The Stoop took Quins, who had already beaten London Irish and Northampton since Christmas, up to fourth place in the table.

"The first half was a cracking game of rugby from both sides and then for 40 minutes of the second half we just did not have the ball, couldn't get out of our half and you credit that to Wasps," O'Shea said.

"Our guys were tired and when you are defending, defending, defending, it becomes harder and harder.

"But we are delighted - three wins over Christmas against London Irish, Northampton and Wasps is a pretty good return for us."

And O'Shea believes his side, with 21 of Saturday's 23-man matchday squad England qualified, can only get better.

"We feel we are going to get stronger and stronger as a team this year and in years to come and we can play better rugby than we did today," he said.

"But we're where we wanted to be. We're also in the mix in the LV and the Amlin and we have a few tired bodies after this Christmas because they've given a huge amount.

"Defence reflects attitude and you just cannot question what this team mean and do for one another.

"They were out on their feet, quite frankly, and it's tough to keep on coming back but I'm so proud of them and what they have done over this Christmas."

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