Home team Away Team

Harlequins

  • Evans, Brown, Smith,
    Penalty goals: Evans (2),
    Conversions: Evans,
23 - 9

London Irish


  • Penalty goals: O'Connor (3),
  • Aviva Premiership
  • 29th Mar 2014
  • KO 15:00
  • Ground: The Stoop
  • Att: 14,800

Aviva Premiership: Conor O'Shea says Sale clash is pivotal

Last updated: 29th March 2014  

Aviva Premiership: Conor O'Shea says Sale clash is pivotal

Conor O'Shea: Focusing on the run-in after beating London Irish

We know that whoever wins when we go to Sale is in the fight for the top four. Whoever loses, isn't.

Conor O'Shea
Quotes of the week

Related links

News

Preview

Report

Teams

Also see

Conor O'Shea identified Harlequins' April 11 showdown against Sale as the decisive fixture in their quest to finish in the top four of the Aviva Premiership.

A 23-9 victory over London Irish that saw Nick Evans, Sam Smith and Mike Brown score tries at Twickenham Stoop revived Quins' hopes of securing a place in the end-of-season play-offs.

Now six points adrift of fourth-placed Bath, O'Shea views the clash with Sale, who lie fifth, as pivotal.

"We know we have to win all four of our remaining games to be within a chance of finishing in the top four," director of rugby O'Shea said.

"We know that whoever wins when we go to Sale is in the fight for the top four. Whoever loses, isn't.

"It's going to be a real fight and I've always said it will be. We want to fight until the bitter end.

"Everybody plays each other and we have Leicester and Bath to come here.

"You have to keep going, take it day by day and not look too far ahead."

It took the vision of Danny Care to break Irish's stubborn resistance with the England scrum-half floating a 70th-minute pass to Smith for the wing to score.

"The standards we set ourselves are better than that," O'Shea said.

"We're never arrogant enough to take any Premiership win for granted, so we should be happy with the win, but our ambition and standards are higher.

"The breakdown was frustrating beyond comprehension throughout the game. We'll take the win, but we know there's more in this team."

Irish looking ahead

Irish have little left to play for with Worcester destined for relegation and director of rugby Brian Smith admitted preparations have already begun for next season.

"We're in limbo now. We're looking up at the table thinking we can maybe catch the next team above us," Smith said.

"We can't do much more than that because there are only four fixtures left, so we're looking at the future.

"Obviously we want to win our home games and be competitive. Of course we want to win, but we also have one eye on next season.

"Giving game time to the younger blokes is part of the long-term plan."

Sky Bet Odds:

Click Here for Your Free Bet
Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Sunday 21st December
Aviva Premiership
14:00Wasps vs London Irish
Friday 26th December
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh
Saturday 27th December
14:00Bath vs Exeter
14:00Sale vs Leicester
15:00Newcastle vs Saracens
16:30Harlequins vs Northampton
Sunday 28th December
14:30Gloucester vs Wasps
Friday 2nd January
19:45Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons
Saturday 3rd January
14:00Saracens vs London Irish
16:30Exeter vs Gloucester
Sunday 4th January
14:00Wasps vs Sale
14:00Leicester Tigers vs Bath
14:30London Welsh vs Harlequins
Friday 9th January
19:45Gloucester vs Saracens
Saturday 10th January
14:00Sale vs Northampton
15:00Bath vs Wasps
15:15Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers
Sunday 11th January
14:00Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Exeter
Saturday 14th February
15:00Leicester vs Gloucester
15:00Northampton vs London Irish
15:00Exeter vs Newcastle
Sunday 15th February
14:00Wasps vs Harlequins
14:30London Welsh vs Sale
15:00Saracens vs Bath

Experts & Blogs

Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com