ENGLAND captain Chris Robshaw admitted Harlequins must improve after a huge slice of luck was required to earn a narrow 16-15 Aviva Premiership victory over London Wasps at Twickenham on Saturday.
The season-opening Heathrow Express London Double Header culminated in a tense finish, as Wasps’ Tom Palmer touched down in the dying seconds, only for Andy Goode to strike the post with the decisive conversion.
Robshaw, making his first competitive outing since April after he missed out on places in the British and Irish Lions and England squads this summer, was pleased with the result but knows Quins will have to get better.
“We got away with it but you can’t argue with starting your season with four points,” said Robshaw, whose side host Northampton on Friday.
“You just want to win that first game and don’t care if it’s not that pretty. We’ve blown the cobwebs out of the system and now we’ve got to kick on. We were not at full speed and are going to have to really lift our game.”
Wasps had made the perfect start, as Joe Launchbury scored straight from the kick-off after a defence-splitting run from stand-in captain Sam Jones.
Goode and Nick Evans traded penalties and 10 minutes from time Karl Dickson sold a cheeky dummy to score and give Quins a six-point lead.
Wasps’ late pressure paid off when Palmer crashed over the line but Goode’s kick, five yards in from the touchline, agonisingly bounced out.
Earlier in the day Saracens – one of three sides, along with Northampton and Leicester, to take five points – kicked off proceedings with a dominant 42-20 win against London Irish.
Hooker Jamie George set Sarries in motion with a pair of first-half tries, before Exiles flanker Kieran Low struck back immediately.
Owen Farrell’s boot extended Sarries’ lead, before Marland Yarde finished a slick move just before the hour.
But Saracens showed their superior cutting edge, as Mako Vunipola and Chris Ashton grabbed tries, despite Matt Stevens’ trip to the sin bin.
Despite a fine team performance director of rugby Mark McCall reserved the highest praise for George.
“I would rather talk about Jamie than anyone else,” he said. “Not only did he score two tries, he just played brilliantly in every area. He threw the ball beautifully, was good in the scrum, good around the park. Jamie will go quickly to the top now.”
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