Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

O'Shea - We got away with it

Conor O'Shea was delighted to see Harlequins battle back from 40-13 down to win
Conor O'Shea was delighted to see Harlequins battle back from 40-13 down to win

Conor O'Shea admitted Harlequins got out of jail after they staged a remarkable comeback to open the defence of their Aviva Premiership title with a 42-40 victory over Wasps.

Harlequins seemed dead and buried as the rejuvenated Wasps stormed into a 40-13 lead after 56 minutes but man-of-the-match Nick Evans, in his 100th Premiership appearance, scored 22 points to lead Harlequins on one of the great comebacks.

"I never want to go through that again," said O'Shea, the Harlequins director of rugby."We are delighted to get away with that but we know defensively we are miles better than that. We didn't bring our game. Thankfully we have got away with it. It is the rocket we need, potentially."

The reigning champions, back at the scene of their Premiership final victory over Leicester, scored four tries and 29 unanswered points in the final quarter of a breathless match.

After Tom Guest's charge-down try, Evans set up two scores for Mike Brown and then touched down himself before wrapping up an astonishing victory with a penalty four minutes from time.

O'Shea added: "I did think the game was gone. Our set-piece was poor, our discipline, they won the contact areas and when we turned the ball over they stung us.

"It was a long way back - but we got a lot of energy from the bench.

"That try Guest scored from the charge-down just gave us a little bit of hope. The more we played, the more we held onto the ball. We started winning the collisions, we got our offloading game going."

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young said: "For 50 minutes we probably played as well as we have done since I have been at the club. We talked at half-time about not switching off and keeping our concentration and how good a team Quins were and that they would keep playing.

"It wasn't a surprise for us. I thought the charge-down kick gave them that momentum and for the last 30 minutes we struggled to get our hands on the ball."

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