Clermont Auvergne 23 Harlequins 16 match report: 'Beaten Quins proved a point', says Chris Robshaw

Captain says there are positives to be had from defeat

Chris Robshaw insisted that there were positives for Harlequins to take despite their Heineken Cup defeat at the hands of last season’s finalists Clermont Auvergne on Sunday.

The Premiership outfit remain rooted to the bottom of Pool Four despite gaining a losing bonus point courtesy of Nick Evans’ drop goal with the final kick of the match in central France, where Clermont had won their previous 64 matches.

Wing Tom Williams scored a 39th-minute try and one point was what Quins fully deserved for a committed and spirited display at the Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin.

Robshaw, the Quins captain,  said: “We are disappointed not to have come away with more. You look at the record that they have here and credit to them. We gave them three early tries but stayed in it and leave with a point  because of a cracking drop goal by Nick [Evans] to finish. In the Premiership we have started pretty slowly. Hopefully, this game has really turned our season around. I’m incredibly proud of all the guys out there.”

The much-improved performance came just eight days after the below-par display at home against the Scarlets. Robshaw was delighted with the response of his team-mates, after director of rugby Conor O’Shea had revealed his anger at the players. Robshaw added: “We had a telling off in the week, but we trained hard and well and came here with a point to prove.

“Unfortunately we didn’t get the  result, but to leave with a point was good and we had some great performances out there. Players stuck their hand up and a lot of the young guys who came on off the bench made an impact, especially in an arena like that. It’s not easy.”

Quins trailed 20-13 at the interval after Williams scored in the left-hand corner following some purposeful work by Robshaw, Will Collier, Danny Care and Mike Brown. But, despite a fifth loss in seven games this season, the England flanker Robshaw claims the spirit is still high in the Londoners’ camp.

Robshaw said: “We thought we were very much in the game at half-time. We spoke about the quality in their side and if they scored three, we had to score four. That was our mentality all week.

“Our defence wasn’t on it, but as you saw, as soon as we kept hold of the ball, we converted it just before the end of the half. That gave us the belief.

“The belief in this squad, whether it’s on the back of the run we’ve just had or when we’ve won quite a few games, is always quite high.”

Scorers: Clermont Auvergne:Tries Byrne, Fofana, Lacrampe; Conversions James; Penalties James 2. Harlequins: Tries Williams Conversions Evans; Penalties Botica, Evans; Drop goal Evans.

Clermont Auvergne: Byrne (Nalaga, 67); Rougerie, King, Fofana, Sivivatu; James (Delany, 55), Lacrampe (Radosavljevic, 48); Debaty (Chaume, 53), Kayser (Paulo, 53), Kotze (Ric, 63), Pierre (Jacquet, 66), Hines, Bonnaire, Lapandry (Vosloo, 50), Chouly.

Harlequins: Brown; Sackey (Walker, 55), Hopper, Botica (Smith, 55), Williams; Evans, Care; Marler (Lambert, 77), Buchanan (Ward, 18), Collier (Sinckler, 45), Easter, Robson, Wallace, Robshaw, Guest (Trayfoot, 53).

Referee: G Clancy (RU).

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Today's pre-school child costs £35,000, according to Aviva. And that's but the tip of an iceberg, says DJ Taylor
Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US