Harlequins rout hands Richards a grim reunion

RUTHLESSNESS and patience were Harlequins boss Conor O’Shea’s watchwords yesterday after his side showed their killer instinct to seal a 35-9 bonus-point Aviva Premiership Rugby win at Newcastle.

An early Tom Williams try, a double from fellow wing Sam Smith and scrum-half Danny Care’s cunning score gave Quins their fourth straight top-flight victory, moving them back into the final play-off spot.

And director of rugby O’Shea was delighted to see his players take their chances as the Falcons lost and failed to score a try for their third straight Premiership game.

“It took us time as it was always going to but we stayed patient and any time we managed to hold the ball through any set of phases we felt like we were causing them issues,” said O’Shea, after condemning Falcons boss Dean Richards to defeat on his first game against his former club.

“We had to work really hard, especially at the breakdown, but in the second half we were a lot more clinical, a lot more direct. The way we tried to play was to take them out of their comfort zone and it became the game we wanted and probably not the game they wanted.”

Saracens retained top spot on Saturday but were given a scare by Sale. Fly-half Danny Cipriani starred for the Sharks with 13 points as the visitors led 13-6 but young back-row George Kruis’s 73rd-minute try earned a narrow 24-19 win.

Wasps won the weekend’s capital derby, beating London Irish 19-12 and condemning the Exiles to a sixth straight defeat in all competitions.

Three penalties from full-back James O’Connor added to another by No10 Shane Geraghty made up the hosts’ points but Wasps fly-half Andy Goode led the way, kicking 14 points to add to their first-half penalty try.

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