O'Shea happy with win as too many Chiefs sit in the bin
Harlequins 40 Exeter Chiefs 13
Sunday 26 September 2010
It is an unwritten law of the Premiership that what goes up must come down, and with indecent haste. The adjustment of the newly ennobled is so dramatic that they can rarely survive the experience. Exeter seem to be the exception to the rule, although it is one thing to win at home and quite another to do so on the road.
After beating Gloucester and Newcastle at Sandy Park, the Chiefs found themselves at the end of their first hammering as Quins scored four tries. "Last week against Sale we were indisciplined," said Conor O'Shea, the Quins director of rugby. "We worked on that. We kept on the right side of Sean. Exeter got on the wrong side of him."
"Sean" was Sean Davey, the referee who made Exeter's difficult task nigh on impossible. In a one-sided second half he sent two Chiefs, the admirable scrum-half Haydn Thomas and the lock James Hanks, to the sin-bin. As if that wasn't enough he also awarded Quins a penalty try.
Under the circumstances, Rob Baxter, Exeter's coach, was remarkably restrained. "A couple of dubious penalty decisions led to the yellow cards and that meant it was a long afternoon for us," he said. "We didn't play the referee well at all. The penalty count was 20-6 to them. At half-time I thought we were still in with a chance but then we didn't see the ball for half an hour. It's not the end of the world. We're still adapting and still improving... the thing is mentally we weren't as desperate as we needed to be."
The Quins fly-half, Nick Evans, kicked a penalty within two minutes, the first of four which added to four conversions amounted to 20 points in an immaculate display of goalkicking. Within seven minutes the Chiefs had lost their No 8, James Phillips, to an ankle injury. At the same time their captain, Tom Hayes, had been given a dressing down by Mr Davey.
Gareth Steenson kicked two penalties to make it 6-6 before Nick Easter scored the first try. After recycling on an industrial scale the No 8 smashed over, planting the ball at the base of a post.
The Quins defence handled everything Exeter could throw at them. Steenson played a passing game, compared to Evans's kicking to the corners, but their attacks were fairlypredictable. The Quins forwards began to enjoy themselves when they set up camp close to the Exeter line. Thomas was sent to the bin 10 minutes into the second half, for failing to retreat 10 yards, and after Evans kicked the penalty, Quins worked Gonzalo Camacho on an overlap down the left flank.
The Chiefs were down to 13 men when Hanks saw yellow for a similar offence to that committed by Thomas. There was no escape for Exeter. Quins were playing the promising young prop Joe Marler, who earlier in the week had a one-to-one session with Jason Leonard. When a scrum close to the Exeter line was repeatedly disrupted, Quins got their penalty try. The fourth try was touched down by Tom Guest; in the last minute the Chiefs wing Mark Foster got over in the corner.
"It wasn't perfect," O'Shea said, "but I'm pretty comfortable with 40 points against a good Exeter side."
Harlequins M Brown; G Camacho, O Smith (R Chisholm, 29), J Turner-Hall, G Lowe; N Evans (R Clegg, 77), D Care (K Dickson, 77); J Marler (C Jones, 65), M Cairns (C Brooker, 52), J Johnston (M Lambert, 52), O Kohn (T Guest, 52), T Vallejos (P Browne, 77), C Robshaw (capt), N Easter, W Skinner.
Exeter Chiefs L Arscott; M Jess, N Sestaret (P McKenzie, 20), B Rennie, M Foster; G Steenson (R Davis, 60), H Thomas (J Poluleuligaga, 63); B Sturgess (B Moon, 77), N Clark (S Alcott, 52), H Tui (C Budgen, 56), T Hayes (capt), J Hanks (D Gannon, 69), T Johnson, J Phillips (C Slade, 6), J Scaysbrook.
Referee S Davey (Sussex).
peopleContenders for Time magazine's Person of the Year are a mixture of the good, the bad and the holy
newsAs the world remembers Mandela the hero, the prison where he spent 27 years seems all the more brutal
tvSteven Moffat reveals the actor was dying to take on the role of the Time Lord and says he is excited to see what he will do with the character
sportBayern Munich 2 Manchester City 3: City come from two down to beat reigning European Champions
arts + ents... and a chance to paint Booker Prize winning author Hilary Mantel
danceUnder Tamara Rojo's inspired direction, it seems possible that it could challenge the dominance of the Royal Ballet. We meet some established names and rising stars
travelDiscover Uruguay's jet-set beach resort, an Atlantic enclave with plenty of art and culture to explore on the side
Transfer news round-up: Barcelona to offer £37m for Manchester United striker Robin van Persie; Manuel Neuer interests Manchester City; Luiz Gustavo on Tottenham radar
Roy Keane omits Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs from 'greatest' Manchester United team
Gareth Bale puts five-bedroom Essex mansion up for sale at £2.2m following £86m switch from Tottenham to Real Madrid
Former England captain Mick Mills 'turned a blind eye' to initiation ceremony abuse at Stoke City, which included sexual assault dubbed 'The Glove'
Manchester United player ratings: The best (and worst) performers for David Moyes during the season so far
- 1 Mountain goats' miraculous escape from avalanche captured in dramatic video footage
- 2 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 3 Sir Ian McKellen hits back at Damian Lewis' 'fruity actor' claims
- 4 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 5 Selfie at funeral: Cameron squeezes in on Obama snap at Mandela memorial