O'Shea ready for fight to the end

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Director of rugby Conor O'Shea is bracing his Harlequins side for a fight to the end Director of rugby Conor O'Shea is bracing his Harlequins side for a fight to the end

Harlequins' director of rugby Conor O'Shea is ready for a fight "to the bitter end" as the London-based outfit look to qualify for the Premiership play-offs.

Their dominant 27-12 triumph over Sale Sharks moved them above the Manchester side into fifth place and just a point behind Bath in fourth.

Although the West Country team take on Gloucester on Saturday, looking to put space between them and Quins, O'Shea's men have at least kept themselves in contention for the top-four.

"It's game-by-game at the moment," Harlequins' boss said.

"We're not going to talk about challenging for anything, it's game-by-game. We'll go to the bitter end and, if we play with an intent and intensity, we are a decent side."

Quins have endured some difficult periods this season due to injuries and international call-ups but, with their England players back from the Six Nations, O'Shea believes that they are beginning to regain top form.

"We've won 10 of 14 since our start so we're not rubbish," he added. "Our squad have been incredible, we've had to fight tooth and nail because of what we've been through injury-wise and are still going through.

"This squad is incredibly tight and they love a challenge. We've given ourselves a mountain but we're going to fight every single step of the way.

"I just like it when we're mentally sharp, when we're going for it, taking quick lineouts and looking to challenge the opposition all the time.

"We've got one ferocious challenge coming down to the Stoop next week (when we play Leicester), but I think the crowd will know that we're back."

Meanwhile, Sale's boss Steve Diamond conceded that they were outplayed by Quins, but the director of rugby was frustrated at referee Wayne Barnes' decision not to award them a try midway through the second half for a knock-on.

Diamond said: "The decision not to award a try was a dominant feature in the game. At 20-12 it could have been an exciting last 17 or 18 minutes, but those decisions are made.

"We accept it, but he was quick to the Television Match Official whereas he wasn't as quick on their two tries. We certainly feel a little bit aggrieved with their fourth try where they were clearly offside and the third try where they were holding people on the ground.

"But he's a world class referee isn't he? We know how good he is and he doesn't make many errors."

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