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Quins boss O'Shea hails Connacht spirit

Harlequins boss Conor O'Shea praised his side after they dug deep to stretch this season's unbeaten run to 11 matches with a tight 25-17 win over Heineken Cup debutants Connacht.

The Irishmen scored two tries through Tiernan O'Halloran and former Quins full-back Gavin Duffy, but 20 points from the boot of Nick Evans and Karl Dickson's touchdown saw the hosts claim victory.

Ex-Ireland full-back O'Shea said: "This Connacht team will give nothing to anyone in the Heineken Cup.

"They came at us absolutely full metal jacket but we knew what was coming. Nobody in our dressing room is arrogant enough to believe you get things for free.

"But we had the fortitude to come through and found a way to win. Connacht played really good rugby in the second half but, mentally, our guys are very strong."

Former All Blacks fly-half Evans kicked 20 points to see Quins to victory and O'Shea said: "His game management was outstanding. Defensively, he's got better and his kicking percentages have gone up."

O'Shea had words of consolation for the Westerners.

"They will go away disappointed to get nothing out of the the game but they should be proud of what they've done."

Connacht head coach Eric Elwood, who saw two late penalties from Evans deny his side a losing bonus point, which was the least they deserved, said: "It's a hard pill to swallow. The most frustrating and disappointing thing is that for all the effort, endeavour, commitment and hard work we have actually come away from The Stoop with nothing.

"The game was in the balance at 19-17 when we had a crucial scrum and you think you have a chance, so we've a disappointed changing room."

Elwood revealed that Duffy was in tears after his old side hung on to win.

"He's hurting pretty badly," he said.

Connacht will play their first home Heineken Cup tie when they entertain French giants Toulouse next Saturday.