independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Fuming O'Shea blasts players

HARLEQUINS 26 SCARLETS 33

Conor O'Shea prepares ahead of the match between Harlequins and Scarlets.

Furious Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea accused some of his team of playing touch rugby at the Twickenham Stoop yesterday.

The Aviva Premiership club were outplayed throughout, leaking three tries as they slumped to their fourth loss in six games to put an early dent in their hopes of progressing from a tough Pool 4.

O'Shea was scathing of the performance and demanded an immediate reaction against French heavyweights Clermont next Sunday.

"I'm angry. I thought we were terrible. We made so many basic errors. I'm furious. We can talk about injuries and about various different things but I'm annoyed," he said.

"When you have a bloke who dances along a touchline to score a try when he's easier to blow into touch, that shouldn't happen.

"There were some individuals out there who gave everything like Mike Brown, Nick Easter and Chris Robshaw, but it's not a game of touch. At times it looked like that with some of the tries they scored.

"We have to man up and not feel sorry for ourselves. We have to take the flak that will come our way and absolutely correctly come our way because we've earnt that. But it's not done and it's up to the players to react next weekend."

Scarlets prop Samson Lee was lucky to escape a red card from referee John Lacey after stamping on the head of Danny Care in the 43rd minute, instead being sent to the sin bin.

"Yes it was a red card, but we were lucky to be only 10 points down in that first half. That decision wasn't the reason for winning or losing," O'Shea said.

One of the few highlights of Quins' display was an outstanding shift from England full-back Mike Brown, who scored two tries with a pair of high-class finishes.

"Mike was absolutely exceptional and at times he was over-trying. He was doing everything he possibly could to drag this team by the scruff of its neck and get it back into the game," O'Shea said.

"But that's Mike – the first name on any teamsheet you'd have. He's a competitor until the very last."

Rhodri Williams, Scott Williams and Jordan Williams scored tries for the Scarlets to leave head coach Simon Easterby beaming.

"I'm delighted with the way we went about our business," said Easterby, who stated that a yellow card was the correct punishment for Lee's stamp on Care.

"It's vital that you win your home games in the Heineken Cup and if you can get points on the road then that's a big advantage. But this won't mean anything if we don't get a result at home next weekend. This was a big performance but we have to keep our feet on the ground."

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