Worcester Warriors 15-17 Harlequins, Aviva Premiership, September 24
O'Shea buoyed by Quins' character
September 24, 2011
Worcester's Dale Rasmussen is hauled down during Saturday's clash at Sixways © Getty Images
Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea hailed his players' resilence after they battled back from 12 points down to maintain their perfect start to the new Aviva Premiership season with a 17-15 victory over Worcester Warriors at Sixways on Saturday.
Former England fly-half Andy Goode had put the hosts within 20 minutes of a famous win courtesy of four penalties and a drop goal, with Quins' sole riposte a penalty from Nick Evans. However, the league leaders rallied in the final quarter and turned the game around with a Sam Smith touchdown and a late penalty try, Evans converting both scores.
"Worcester must be gutted to lose," O'Shea said. "We were very unhappy with our performance today.
"The game was a very start-stop affair it was free-kick after free-kick and penalty after penalty and for 60 minutes we were awful.
"The guys let themselves down but at 15-3 down we could have waved the white flag. It is very satisfying that the boys dug in and secured the win.
"Worcester made it very difficult for us they were incredibly physical, up in our faces and hitting every tackle with venom."
Unsurprisingly, Worcester head coach Richard Hill was bitterly frustrated with the way in which his side had squandered a gilt-edged opportunity to inflict a first defeat of the season upon Quins.
"At 15-3 up at home you have got to win these games," he said. "We were in control but we gave away a soft try from a first phase and credit to them for coming back to win.
"It was a poor game. In the first half we made eight errors in the first 17 minutes and our lineout was a huge concern.
"We couldn't keep the ball for sufficient phases once we had five phases then four and we got two penalties so it is not rocket science."
Worcester's caused had not been aided by the loss of captain Kai Horstmann to injury while they were 15-3 up. Hill revealed afterwards that his skipper is now facing a significant spell on the sidelines. "Kai has pulled a hamstring," he said. "It doesn't look good and he will be out for four to six weeks."
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