Harlequins' Conor O'Shea slams players after Exeter defeat

Last Updated: 07/10/12 5:39pm

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Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea slammed his side after they were thrashed 42-28 by Exeter.

The Premiership champions came away from Sandy Park without so much as a losing bonus point and O'Shea gave a candid assessment of their performance.

"We were rubbish, we were really poor," said O'Shea. "All the credit goes to Exeter for the way they played and we probably should have been beaten by a lot more. It's not terminal, far from it, as we have 20 points after six games.

"You don't mind coming and losing here because it is a tough place to come at the best of times. But we just got beaten up at the contact area, we lost all the collisions from minute one and it was a miracle that we were in the game for as long as we were.

"Credit goes to Exeter and we will learn a massive lesson in terms of what our desire needs to be if we are going to be up there where we want to be and will be at the end of the season."

The Chiefs out-scored Quins by five tries to three and Exeter head coach Rob Baxter was thrilled with his side's resolve.

"This was a fantastic game of rugby and, it's easy to say when you are on the winning end, it would have been a great game whichever way the last 10 or 15 minutes had gone," he said. "There were two sides really trying to play rugby.

"When you try to play rugby tries get scored, you also make mistakes and a few errors, and some of those errors really hurt us.

"It gave the game a bit of a see-saw momentum but what pleases me the most is that we came through those changes of momentum and came through them stronger at the end. I am more pleased with the mental challenges that we came through than the physical ones."

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