Rugby Union

Conor O'Shea far from happy despite Harlequins win

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Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea admits his side's narrow win over Sale Sharks will not have the rest of the Aviva Premiership quaking in their boots.

Sale dominated proceedings before the break at the Twickenham Stoop but only led 7-3, thanks to captain Dan Braid's try.

To their credit, Quins came out firing after half-time and Tim Visser's try, combined with the boot of Nick Evans, put them 16-7 ahead before Sam James' score narrowed the gap to two.

Sale fly-half Danny Cipriani missed a late penalty and drop goal attempt as the hosts hung on, leaving O'Shea to acknowledge his side got away with it.

"We've started the season well but tonight was not a performance we can be proud of at all," said the Irishman.

"I don't care about winning and losing and I never have - I care about the way you play and the energy you bring.

"For 20 minutes in the second half we did well to get a 16-7 lead but then we let it go.

"We said before the game we wanted to show people what we're about and there won't be too many people afraid.

"We've got a win which we potentially didn't deserve, but I know where we're at as a team because of how well we've played over the last few weeks."

Sale took the lead as Visser spilt Cipriani's high ball, Sharks captain Braid pouncing on the winger's error to bundle over from five metres out.

An Evans penalty either side of half-time made it 7-6 and the hosts took the lead when Visser spectacularly gathered his fly-half's cross-field kick to dot down.

James muscled his way over the line from a clever Cipriani switch to close the gap but the England fly-half then missed late chances as Quins survived.

And Steve Diamond believes his troops battled gamely despite getting short shrift with refereeing decisions

The Sale director of rugby said: "We were unlucky with a lot of decisions not going our way, we've got to be pleased with our performance but we just didn't get the end result.

"We know we're a competitive side, we didn't get the rub of the green tonight - one or two little things let us down, which resulted in us not winning the game.

"But you know what, we can't really whinge. Fair play to Quins, they're a good side and to get a bonus point from here, some people would be grateful for and I've got to be."

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Topics:
Harlequins
Rugby Union

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