Harlequins start Champions Cup campaign with hard-fought Castres win

Danny Care believes Harlequins will only get better after starting their European Rugby Champions Cup campaign with a tight win over French side Castres.

Care scored the only try in a 25-9 win at the Stoop, when the England scrum-half raced onto a Nick Evans kick, breaking the deadlock in what was otherwise a kicking contest between Evans and Castres’ Rory Kockott.

Quins had the better of the possession – Castres made 81 tackles in the first half alone – but it wasn’t until a moment of brilliance from former All Black Evans, expertly converted by Care, that they finally took deserved control.

“We’ve had an up and down start to the season but you don’t win anything in October.” – Danny Care

“We needed a game like that and it was a real tight affair,” said Care.

“It was a great team effort but we still want to get better and hopefully we will. I think it’s a step in the right direction.

“I thought the forwards were outstanding, the set-pieces we put together were exceptional.

“We’ve had an up and down start to the season but you don’t win anything in October. Four points was crucial for us and it sets us up well for next week and our massive game against Wasps.”

Director of rugby Conor O’Shea is also looking ahead with confidence ahead of next week’s Wasps match.

“We have a long way to go, we know that, but this was a real step forward,” he said.

“We were really ambitious with the way we played in that first half. That was not a weak Castres front five but our scrum and line-out were excellent.”

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