Richards relieved to survive a see-saw ride

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The Independent Online

Harlequins' director of rugby, Dean Richards, had mixed feelings following this hard-fought victory over his side's long-standing London rivals, Wasps, in which the stand-in Quins captain, the Australian fly-half Chris Malone, kicked 16 points and created the opening try for the centre Tosh Masson.

"I'm relieved because we gave them opportunities to get back in the match," said Richards. "But we created a lot of chances against a Wasps side which is renowned for its defence and had two or three other chances to score.

"We played reasonably well but I don't think anyone was outstanding on the day. We didn't finish Wasps off when we had the opportunities to do so and the last 10 minutes were a bit of a dogfight."

His Wasps counterpart, the former Scotland and British and Irish Lions coach Ian McGeechan, concurred. "After 30 minutes," he said, "I'm wondering how the hell we are still in the game and in the last 30 I thought it was there for the taking for us but we didn't finish.

"Quins started very well and looked sharp and we did well to get some points on the board. I felt in the second half we had got the measure of them and should have been a little bit more ruthless how we finished off our chances."

The match may have been tense from a coaching perspective but it was a thriller for a large crowd present on World Cup final day. Malone's conversion of a try by the replacement Quins back-rower Tom Guest in the 66th minute settled the result.

Richards hailed what he called a "one-point win with end to end stuff and plenty to shout about". The Wasps head coach, Shaun Edwards, agreed, adding: "It was a great advertisement for the Premiership."

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