Harlequins edge Falcons to warm up for Bayonne

Harlequins 23 Newcastle 12
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The Independent Online

Harlequins rugby director Conor O'Shea believes Saturday's hard-earned victory over Newcastle in the Premiership has set his team up for next week's Amlin Cup tie.

"We did not play brilliantly, but the Premiership is about dogging out some games, doing your job and getting the victory. That's what we did," O'Shea said. "Newcastle came here incredibly motivated following last weekend's defeat, and they have some excellent international players. But we go into next week's European competition on the back of consecutive wins."

A meeting with French side Bayonne awaits and O'Shea added: "Facing Bayonne will be another challenge. They've increased their budget recently by £3.5m, which is our entire salary cap. But you have to get on with it."

Newcastle rugby director Alan Tait backed his players despite Saturday's loss, having blasted them after last weekend's heavy defeat at the hands of London Irish.

"We were outstanding in one of our best performances of the season. Just little things that were done by young players let us down, but they will learn fast because you get no mercy at this level," Tait said of his side's lapses.

"Concentration is the key to Premiership rugby, and for spells we defended superbly and frustrated Harlequins' best efforts.

Scorers: Harlequins: Tries Penalty, Guest; Conversions Evans 2; Penalties Evans 3; Newcastle: Penalties Gopperth 4.

Harlequins: Brown, Camacho, O. Smith, Turner-Hall, Lowe, Evans, Care, Marler, Cairns, Johnston, Kohn, Vallejos Cinalli, Robshaw, Skinner, Easter. Replacements: Williams for O. Smith (68), Jones for Marler (61), Brooker for Cairns (54), Lambert for Johnston (54), Browne for Kohn (71), Guest for Vallejos Cinalli (62).

Newcastle: Manning, Fielden, Vickerman, Henderson, Amesbury, Gopperth, Pilgrim, Shiels, Vickers, Ryan, Levi, Swinson, Welch, Pennycook, Hogg. Replacements: A. Tait for Fielden (65), Eves for Vickerman (20), Young for Pilgrim (56), Golding for Shiels (41), Townson for Levi (73), M. Wilson for Welch (13), Brookes for Pennycook (44).

Referee: Chris White (RFU).

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