Harlequins boss Paul Gustard vowed to “get it right” after his side fell to a 53-21 defeat at Clermont Auvergne in their Heineken Champions Cup opener.


Quins have won only one of their four Gallagher Premiership matches so far this season and the result in France was their third successive defeat in all competitions.

Gustard is well aware that fans will expect more from his team and is demanding a response when Quins host Bath in their second pool fixture next weekend.

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“Either which way we cut it, to concede 50 points isn’t good enough,” the former England defence coach told the club’s media channels.

“We have to dust ourselves down. We have to look at the positives and the things we need to work on and critically reflect as individuals, as players and as a coaching staff.

“We have to assess everything. It’s not to throw the baby out with the bath water, but we have to look at how we can rejuvenate the team, how we can maybe affect it through selection, how we train, how we look after the players, how we recover and the environment we create.


“I’ve never been in this position before as a coach and it’s hurting, but I’ll get it right.

“I’ve got good people around me, good players, and we just have to push it to one side and focus on Bath and show how much we care.”

The excellent Alivereti Raka and Peceli Yato scored two tries apiece in a dominant display from three-time finalists Clermont, who racked up seven tries in total.


Tom Lawday, Elia Elia and James Lang – the beneficiary of a sensational run by Gabriel Ibitoye late on – all went over for Quins, but they were well beaten on the night.

Reflecting on the performance, Gustard said: “Not great at all. First half we concede three tries. First one came from our own mistake, ball in hand. Unfortunately, Francis (Saili) followed the grass not the man, which sometimes happens. It cost us seven points.

“Next one we lose the high ball and then lose another high ball in the same sequence of play, cost us seven points.

“Then we miss a one-on-one tackle in the middle of the field.

“For the most part in that first half we actually defended pretty well. Our lineout functioned really well, put them under aerial pressure, winning our own ball. Our scrum was kind of our Achilles heel in the first half.

“Second half we turned the scrum around and gained ascendancy, but unfortunately then our lineout suffered a little bit.

“We lost three lineouts in a row, which gave them a bit of momentum and Clermont hit a hot streak that really hurt us.”

How the Wolfpack landed Sonny Bill Williams:

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