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London Irish 16:30 Harlequins

Harlequins coach Conor O'Shea hails hard-fought win over London Irish

Last Updated: 30/12/12 8:54am

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Conor O'Shea: too many handling errors

Conor O'Shea: too many handling errors

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Harlequins coach Conor O'Shea felt his side just about mastered the conditions after they ran out 26-15 winners over Premiership strugglers London Irish

Heavy rain ruined any hopes of a classic and O'Shea felt his side made too many mistakes despite bagging the points in front of a bumper 82,000 crowd at Twickenham.

"We made too many handling errors and unforced errors early on. We'd take penalties and then give dumb ones back," he said.

"I tried catching some of the balls beforehand and it was tough out there. Offloads are harder and balls squirt out. These are difficult days in the season and it's a 22 game marathon.

"We have tough games coming up against London Welsh and Connacht and if we do well in those we can get clear water in the league and a Heineken Cup quarter-final, so we have a big two weeks ahead.

"Sometimes we're playing brilliant rugby and sometimes we're not, but we're getting the job done."

London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith was satisfied with his side's efforts but disappointed to come away with nothing after remaining within seven points of Quins until the final five minutes.

"I felt our effort was worthy of something, but we're big boys and we'll dust ourselves down," said Smith.

"Quins rolled the dice inside our 22 twice and they came up trumps. We look at their side and they're probably a bit further along the developmental path than we are.

"I thought our scrum was a lot more competitive than the scoreboard shows, but we've just got to get on with it.

"I've been in a relegation scrap before with Bath and the next season we were top of the league. You can't keep looking over your shoulder and have to focus on yourselves.

"The last 20 minutes have been a problem and that's the nature of the game. It's an arm-wrestle and you have to stay in the contest."

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