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O'Shea turns attentions to Europe


Conor O'Shea

Conor O'Shea

Conor O'Shea

Harlequins rugby director Conor O'Shea believes Saturday's hard-earned 23-12 victory over Newcastle in the Aviva Premiership sets his team up for next week's Amlin Cup tie.

Tom Guest clinched victory for Quins with a try from close-range four minutes from time to kill of a stubborn Newcastle side. The hosts had led just 9-6 at the break with fly-half Nick Evans kicking three penalties and opposite number Jimmy Gopperth landing two for Newcastle. But a penalty try extended the Quins' lead and, although two more penalties kept Newcastle in the game, Guest's try put the home side out of sight.

O'Shea said:"We did not play brilliantly, but the Premiership is about dogging out some games, doing your job and getting the victory. That's what we did. Newcastle came here incredibly motivated following last weekend's defeat, and they have some excellent international players. But we go into next week's European competition on the back of consecutive wins."

He added:"We're fifth in the table and I did say before the opening game of the season that we would have a proper idea of where we stand after five games. And we do.

"We played well enough in the opening three games without getting the results, but now confidence is climbing.

A clash with French side Bayonne awaits and O'Shea added: "Facing Bayonne will be another challenge.

"They've increased their budget recently by £3.5million, which is our entire salary cap. But you have to get on with it."

Newcastle rugby director Alan Tait backed his players despite the defeat, having blasted them after last weekend's heavy defeat at the hands of London Irish.

Tait said:"We were outstanding in one of our best performances of the season.

"Just little things that were done by young players let us down, but they will learn fast because you get no mercy at this level. Concentration is the key to Premiership rugby, and for spells we defended superbly and frustrated Harlequins' best efforts."

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