O’Connor pleased to edge arm wrestle

Date published: December 14 2014

Leinster coach Matt O’Connor admitted his relief as the Irish province battled to a 14-13 win over Harlequins in Dublin.

The three-time European champions looked to be in cruise control as they led 11-0 at half-time, but Quins fought back well in the second half.

Mike Brown’s try and eight points from the boot of Tim Swiel allowed Harlequins to take the lead heading into the final ten minutes.

Leinster didn’t panic though, and Ian Madigan’s penalty on 71 minutes ended up being the crucial score.

The win puts Leinster level on points with Quins at the top of the group, although the visitors now hold the head-to-head between the sides.

And having avoided what would have been a near-fatal home defeat, O’Connor was pleased with the commitment of his side.

“I wouldn’t say (we) escaped (with the result), no,” he said.

“It was tight, it was an arm wrestle. It was very, very intense, a high quality game between two very committed sides. Escaped is a very strong word.

“If we had executed a little bit better we could have been out of sight at half-time. That was our doing.

“They came back very hard at us in the second half – we were a bit inaccurate early doors and, as a result, they got their tails up and got a bit of momentum.

“We would have liked to get a little bit more out of tonight. We would have liked to be more accurate and get something more in London last weekend but there’s two games to go (in the pool stages) and we’ve given ourselves a chance.”