IT SAYS A lot about where Leinster are at the moment that even though Harlequins were missing Nick Evans and Chris Robshaw, it still took all of their considerable European experience to eke out a narrow win at the Aviva Stadium.
Conor O’Shea was understandably frustrated that his side only left Dublin with one point instead of four but that losing bonus point crucially means Harlequins now lead Pool Two on points difference.
But O’Shea isn’t putting a whole lot of thought into the current standings with two rounds left to go.
“We’re pretty disappointed and frustrated but we’ll take a lot from it and go into the year knowing we are in control,” O’Shea said.
“But being in control of a pool that is this tight, it will probably be 13, 13 and 12 [points]. Our next games is Wasps at home and then we go to Castres so it will be an interesting finale.”
Despite winning the game, many fans and pundits were critical of Leinster’s lacklustre performance. However, O’Shea didn’t agree with the notion that this is a weak Leinster side or that they were there for the taking.
“We were playing the Pro12 champions as far as I am aware,” O’Shea said.
There was a bit of controversy late on at the Aviva as Romain Poite mulled over video footage of a melee for about an hour before sin-binning Charlie Matthews for contact near the eyes.
O’Shea said he ‘couldn’t believe’ Matthews was yellow carded but doesn’t think the citing commissioner needs to go back and pick out players from both teams.
“They don’t need to,” O’Shea said.
Next up in the Champions Cup for Quins is a home clash with Wasps, who reignited their qualification hopes with back-to-back bonus point wins over Castres.
If Quins win their two remaining pool games with bonus points they will almost certainly get a home quarter-final but O’Shea knows how tough a proposition Wasps will be in their current form.
“They are an outstanding side,” O’Shea said.
“You saw when they came to the RDS what they looked like. Our matches with them are one score games the whole time.”
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