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Battling Quins do just enough to defy old boss Richards
10:29am Sunday 16th February 2014 in Sport
Tries from Ollie Lindsay-Hague and Sam Smith, plus a late penalty double from Ben Botica secured Harlequins a vital 18-14 Premiership triumph over struggling Newcastle Falcons.
Lindsay-Hague and Smith crossed in the first half as director of rugby Conor O'Shea's men led 12-3 at the break, but the Falcons responded through two penalties from ex-Quin Rory Clegg and an Alex Tait try - 10 minutes from time - to lead 14-12.
But Falcons chief Dean Richards, who saw Clegg miss two crucial penalties, would be denied a deserved win over his former club at the death when Botica fired over from in front of the posts with four minutes remaining, before adding another in injury time.
It is the second week in succession Quins have fought back late in the day to clinch victory following last week's 11-10 win over Wasps and the result kept the club in the hunt for a top four finish.
O'Shea, who expects to have lock George Robson available for next week's trip to Gloucester, said: "They know the inaccuracies and the mistakes they made, but the never say die attitude of this team is incredible.
"You can list off the number of injuries the squad has and that is before you think of our missing internationals. These guys just keep coming back for more.
"Everything Ollie Lindsay-Hague did was outstanding. He has been asking for an opportunity for a while and it is great to see him taking it with both hands.
"The Six Nations period is always difficult, but this team is doing exactly what it needs to do to and that is what these games are about."