O'Shea: We have bit between our teeth
May 4, 2014
Nick Evans dives over for Harlequins' second try of the afternoon © Getty Images
Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea claims his side have "the bit between their teeth" after a late comeback saw them snatch a 30-29 victory over Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park.
Tom Guest's try five minutes from time keeps alive Quins' hopes of reaching the Aviva Premiership final and they can now pip Bath to a semi-final spot if they beat the West Country side at home next Saturday. Bath currently occupy fourth place with 66 points, while Quins are three points back, meaning there is all to play for at the Twickenham Stoop in the final round of the regular season.
O'Shea is already looking forward to that match and says his players are well up for the challenge as well: "I know what I want us to do - our peak, our mountain that we talked about before the game is May 31 [the Premiership final].
"I don't know if we'll get there but we'll give it one heck of a shot. The bit is between these guys' teeth and you could see that today. The belief within this group in our game and each other has shone through - they just never say die. They played to the bitter end and I just can't give them enough credit. They are excited, they cannot wait to get to the Stoop at the weekend. It will be winner takes all, it will be a straight shoot-out, but we will be excited by it."
O'Shea, whose side trailed by 18 points with 35 minutes to go before staging a superb fightback against Exeter, added: "I am obviously emotional today because to be 23-5 down and to show the fortitude to come back to win. It has [felt like] play-offs for us over the past number of weeks in the Premiership. We played magnificent rugby against Sale, we played an incredible match against Leicester and came out on top and showed belief today.
Exeter never trailed in the match until Guest's late match-winning score, and the defeat ended the Chiefs' hopes of a European play-off place. Head coach Rob Baxter said: "You are disappointed when you lose, but what we had asked the players to show was commitment and they did that in spades.
"It just shows that when you get most of the way you want to play and the quality is correct, then we are very competitive side. Yes, there was the odd individual error or poor decision or whatever, but that is summed up as losing the game. But at the same time that is where we are and I have to be very careful that I don't get too frustrated when we have actually put in a full, committed performance.
"Today was about playing with intensity, enthusiasm and physicality, and the job of the coaches is to keep improving some of our qualities while that is going on - not the other way round."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
London Welsh head coach Rowland Phillips is adamant the future is bright at the Exiles despite their relegation being confirmed on Sunday
Mexico international Javier Hernandez has told Fox Sports about his frustrations at Real Madrid
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Sebastian Vettel's win for Ferrari in Malaysia has set alarm bells ringing for the reigning world champion
Neymar has likened Gary Medel's foul on him during Brazil's 1-0 win over Chile to something from UFC
Manchester United target Mats Hummels is considering his Borussia Dortmund future
Concussion, relegation and the mother of all surprises - it's the Monday Maul.
After a 10-year break in the fixture, England and Italy have faced each other three times in as many seasons, with one win each and a draw
Queensland are worth watching again, even if victory over the Lions would have papered over cracks, because Quade Cooper is back in the No.10 jersey, Greg Growden writes
In a exciting return from injury, Quade Cooper thrilled fans to become Player of the Round, while a new star now leads the medal tally
The Hurricanes have always been a franchise rich on talent, but something was always awry; not any more as they look the real deal Sam Bruce writes
Six months after being victim of a machete attack that left him fearing for his life, Kell Brook dished out a vicious attack of his own in his a first world title defence
Kell Brook is not waiting for Amir Khan to make up his mind about fighting him and hopes to face either Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez or American Brandon Rios this summer
Patrick Kluivert has revealed he did not follow Louis van Gaal to Manchester United as his No.2 last summer as he was holding out for a managerial role instead
Luis Suarez received a rapturous reception as he made his first return to Anfield since joining Barcelona, playing the second half of a charity game between sides captained by Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher
Danny Welbeck believes signing for Arsenal has helped him to improve his international form for England
Rory McIlroy walked off at the Honda Classic. What next for the Northern Irishman?
Join Steve Bunce and Barry Jones each week for the latest news, views and debate from the boxing world.
Who has driven in the most GPs before taking pole position?
Unbeaten heavyweight Dillian Whyte, 28, (14-0, 11 KOs) tells ESPN where his rivalry with Anthony Joshua stems from and outlines the plan for his career this year after returning from a doping ban in November
Miroslav Klose scored goals in the World Cup final tournaments of 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. Has anyone else scored World Cup goals 12 years apart?