O’Shea stunned by crushing defeat

Published: Saturday 13th September 2014 by The News Editor

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Harlequins director of rugby Conor O’Shea revealed that his players apologised to fans following Friday night’s 39-0 capitulation to Saracens.

Quins were unrecognisable as Aviva Premiership title contenders in a harrowing night for a team which has pretensions of challenging for Northampton’s crown.

O’Shea was devastated by the result and demanded an immediate reaction against Wasps next Saturday.

“The players went over to the crowd to apologise afterwards because that’s not us,” O’Shea said.

“We were nilled at home in a match that we entered with huge expectations.

“We’re shot to pieces because we certainly didn’t see that coming. In emotional terms that’s a big blow

“We have to react to that. We can talk about it all we like, but we have to respond.

“We’ll find that very difficult to take, but we have to take it. It’s an incredible emotional low. We didn’t see it coming.

“We won’t read the players the riot act for something like that. It’s sport and sometimes you come across things you can’t explain.

“It’s easy to read the riot act, but the players know exactly what they did.

“We needed to get the scoreboard going but never managed that. We had so much territory and possession but ended up on a 39-0 defeat.

“I’ll give all credit to Saracens, they were outstanding.”

Charlie Hodgson orchestrated the carnage with a 22-point haul consisting of a try, five penalties and one conversion, only blotting his copybook when he was sin-binned in the second half for a deliberate knock-on.

Chris Ashton and man of the match Will Fraser also crossed for Sarries.

“We were pretty relentless out there and because of that we were able to build a lot of pressure,” Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said.

“We weren’t expecting a scoreline like that, but we wanted a performance full of energy and we got that.

“Charlie was one of several people who played really well and he’ll be the first to say the pack gave him a great platform.

“Charlie pulled the strings beautifully and that was his first yellow card, but we’ll excuse him that.”

Published: Saturday 13th September 2014 by The News Editor

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