HARLEQUINS might be the first side to have secured an Aviva Premiership semi-final spot but director of rugby Conor O’Shea insists the job is only half done.
O’Shea’s troops crept closer to the 26 May final at Twickenham on Saturday, when they comfortably saw off struggling Wasps 33-17 at The Stoop to clinch only their second semi-final berth.
Ugo Monye, George Robson, England captain Chris Robshaw and Jordan Turner-Hall all scored tries for the leaders, who will play their last-four clash at home if they beat second-placed Leicester next.
“That’s one thing ticked, we now want to get a home tie,” said O’Shea, who warned against underestimating the Tigers, who moved to within six points by winning 35-21 at Northampton.
“The club had a home tie here two years ago and didn’t follow through by getting to the final but there’s a lot of rugby to be played and I was happy with the ambition and the physicality of our play.
“We’ll be ready for next week – it’ll be a great contest. They’ve got five bonus-point wins in a row, they’ve set a Premiership record. We know what an outstanding side they are but we will be ready for them.”
Wasps boss Dai Young, meanwhile, admitted defeat conpounded his fears over the future of Wasps. Financial woes were added to this weekend as basement club Newcastle shocked Gloucester 29-20 to close the gap on Wasps to just four points, with the duo set to do battle in their last game of the season on 5 May.
“When people are starting to worry about whether they’ve got a job in four or five weeks’ time – surely it doesn’t get any tougher,” said Young. “Our side of the bargain is to make sure we’ve got Premiership rugby.”
Saracens slipped to third despite beating London Irish 28-19 at the Madejski Stadium, No10 Charlie Hodgson kicking 23 points. Delon Armitage crossed twice for the Exiles, who have lost seven league games in a row.
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