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'It was a tough 2 weeks after being left out of the World Cup squad'

By PA
(Photo by PA)

Harlequins director of rugby Billy Millard believed that the disappointment felt in last week’s narrow defeat at Gloucester was a huge catalyst in motivating his players as they bounced back to beat Exeter on Sunday.

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Last Saturday, Quins lost their opening Gallagher Premiership fixture in the final minute but there was to be no repeat as they kept up their intensity throughout to record a 22-14 win over Exeter in a competitive battle at the Stoop.

Quins’ tries came from Jack Kenningham, Will Joseph and Louis Lynagh with Jarrod Evans kicking two conversions. Will Edwards added a last-minute penalty to deprive the visitors of a merited bonus-point.

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RG try against England

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RG try against England

Exeter responded with tries from front-rowers, Ehren Painter and Dan Frost, both of which were converted by Henry Slade.

Millard said: “It was very frustrating what happened last week but today we showed resilience and worked very hard to hang in there.

“We are happy to take the win at home but we did have four opportunities in the second half to finish the game off but we weren’t accurate enough, so there’s still plenty to work on.

“Our aim is to be more consistent as we don’t want to be winning by 40 points one week and then losing by 40 the next.”

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Quins captain Alex Dombrandt produced an all-action performance culminating in him winning a last-minute penalty with a jackal which Edwards kicked to leave Exeter with nothing.

England international Dombrandt said: “It was a tough two weeks after being left out of the World Cup squad but I’m over it now as Quins have been fabulous in welcoming me back and it’s a great club to be part of.

“We were fairly pleased with the first half as we were ruthless in the red zone by converting all three opportunities.

“Exeter had a lot of new faces so we spent a large part of the week on video-analysis to assess their individuals and their performances.”

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Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter rued his side’s missed chances.

He said: “Harlequins will probably say the same in that it was a game of missed opportunities.

“Players were held up over the line and one more accurate pass would have resulted in tries.

“We are getting there and we are threatening but we need to be more precise.

“We have to remember that a number of our players were making only their second league appearance but little mistakes cost us in the end.”

Exeter also suffered a big blow when star full-back Josh Hodge left the field injured in the first half.

Baxter said of the former Newcastle player: “It’s a dislocated elbow but fortunately we were able to put it back in.

“We’ll have to assess whether there is any ligament damage tomorrow before we can fully assess the situation.”

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Tom 241 days ago

I was excited for Dombrandt getting a chance with England. His form for Quins for reminiscent of Parisse is his running lines and offloads but bugger me he was shite when he played for England. Looked very timid and that is not a good quality in a number 8!

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Flankly 8 hours ago
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