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Easter - We were lucky

Harlequins number eight Nick Easter conceded that "better teams would have put us away" after his side struggled to a hard-fought victory over London Irish at Twickenham.

Quins led 20-6 at the interval with tries from Ugo Moyne and Ollie Lindsay-Hague - Nick Evans added two penalties and two conversions - but the sin-binning of both Quins props, Joe Marler and Kyle Sinckler, allowed Irish to mount a second-half revival.

Easter said: "We played some good rugby in the right areas in the first half but we allowed them to get to us at the breakdown and should have left it to the referee,

"We allowed them back into it in the second half but we'll take that every time."

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea echoed Easter's sentiments.

"In the first half we were incredibly in control and comfortably the better team but in the second half, we couldn't get our game going at all," he said.

"Our ill-discipline gave them momentum and we gave away a raft of penalties with virtually no decisions going our way.

"But, while I'm not happy with the performance, I'm pleased at the way we dug in when we had players in the bin."

Despite dominating the second half, Irish failed to capitalise on the opposition being reduced to 13 men and had to rely on five penalties from Shane Geraghty for their points.

Irish director of rugby Brian Smith accepted that his side's poor start had left them with too much to do.

He said: "It was a classic game of two halves, we couldn't get going in the first 20 minutes and they rattled up the scores.

"We had got to half-time without firing any shots and were outplayed in the first half but we reassessed at the interval and ultimately had a shot to win it."

"They are a quality outfit so at half-time I would certainly have taken a bonus point."

Irish full back Tom Homer returned after injury but limped off early on.

"It's very disappointing as Tom has knee ligament damage," added Smith. "It will take 48 hours to assess it and we are just hoping it is a minor tear."

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