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Fighting spirit key to Quins run in
Quins director of rugby Conor O’Shea reckons Jordan Turner-Hall’s Premiership return and Sam Smith’s late winner embody the fighting spirit the club needs for a top four finish.
Turner-Hall’s first top-flight appearance since hip surgery in September helped provide the platform for Smith’s try that snatched an 11-10 victory over Wasps on Sunday.
Quins have been besieged by injury problems this term and Nick Evans, who limped off early at the weekend with a foot injury, is set to miss Saturday’s visit of former chief Dean Richards’ Newcastle Falcons – at least.
But O’Shea insisted his men now have a steel about them that can keep them in the title race in the absence of England stars Chris Robshaw, Danny Care, Mike Brown and Joe Marler.
“We have had plenty of challenges this year and mentally we are in a very good place,” he said.
“At the start of the season, we told all the players, including the young academy players, that they would have a part to play.
“They could be the ones needed to produce that moment that can change our season – like Sam Smith did for us on Sunday.
“While we were not at our best at the weekend we showed the resilience to get the win, and that is going to be vital to us going forward.”
He added: “It was great to see Jordan back. He has worked incredibly hard to come back and has been incredibly professional.
“Like many of our players, he is a warrior and hopefully he will keep on improving.”
Second row George Robson was a late withdrawal at the weekend due to a tight hamstring and O’Shea expects more work for his replacement Charlie Matthews on the horizon.
“George will hopefully be fine, but we have Charlie, George Merrick and Nick Easter, who can all step up,” added the Stoop chief.
“We are a bit threadbare again at the moment, but players are coming back and we just have to battle through it.”