Harlequins still in title hunt despite ‘irritating’ defeat to Saracens, says O’Shea


The director of rugby made no excuses after his team were beaten 27-12.


By Tom Macleod

Director of Rugby Conor O’Shea insists Harlequins are still in the Aviva Premiership title hunt but made no excuses after Sunday’s loss to Saracens.

Tries from Schalk Brits and Will Fraser gave Sarries a 27-12 victory at Allianz Park, with Quins managing four Nick Evans penalties in reply.

But O’Shea insists there is still a lot of rugby to be played as Quins seek to defend their Premiership title despite lying in third place, eight points off top spot.

“Physically we were beaten, which is irritating beyond belief,” said O’Shea.

“We always pride ourselves on saying results don’t matter but performances do – and we didn’t perform today.

“We’ll learn our lesson but the championship isn’t decided today. They were worthy winners but we didn’t perform anywhere close to what we know we are capable of.

“What we have to make sure is we play the way we can. We didn’t today and you credit that to Saracens – they were excellent – but we will see them again.”

Saracens have now won seven of their last eight Premiership meetings with Harlequins, and moved five points clear of second-placed Leicester at the top.

Quins face a five-day turnaround before they play Gloucester away on Friday night, and O’Shea predicted a backlash from his team.

“We will have no problems getting it right down there,” he added.

“We knew the five days were going to be tough – Saracens away and Gloucester away was never going to be easy – but we know we are a better side than we showed today.”

Photo courtesy of Andy Welsher, with thanks.

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