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'We almost started too well': Evans focusing on the positives following massive lead slip

By PA

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Harlequins attack and backs coach Nick Evans was happy with the way his side regained control of their match against Gloucester, which they ultimately won 59-24 after letting a big lead slip.

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When Quins had the try bonus point against an under-strength Cherry and Whites after 26 minutes, it looked like a case of how many points the Gallagher Premiership’s third-placed team would win by.

However, Gloucester, with many of their key players rested, fought back to level after half-time – only for the hosts to get back up to the standards they had set earlier in the afternoon.

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Former British and Irish Lion and World Cup winner Neil Back joins Christina, Dylan Hartley and Ryan Wilson this week to review all the Six Nations action and also take a trip down memory lane
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Former British and Irish Lion and World Cup winner Neil Back joins Christina, Dylan Hartley and Ryan Wilson this week to review all the Six Nations action and also take a trip down memory lane

Evans said: “We almost started too well, going 24-0 up after 20 minutes or so, then we got sloppy.

“We stopped working at the non-glamourous stuff, which was disappointing for us a group, and we let them back into the game in a period after half-time – and we just can’t have that.

“That’s going to cost us games, them scoring off the back of three penalties in a row and then an intercept.

“What was very pleasing was the way we wrestled it back and then really dominated the last third of the game, against a tiring defence.

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“It’s the way we want to play, the way we feel we can beat teams through our attack, which gives our defence energy.

“Overall, we would say that we were a bit sloppy, but also that we created lots of opportunities and ended up with nine tries.”

Tries by Luke Northmore, Mike Brown, Cadan Murley and Danny Care opened up a 24-0 lead for Harlequins, but Gloucester levelled the match through Charlie Chapman (2) and Matt Garvey.

 

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But once Care restored Quins’ lead, they did not look back, with Tyrone Green, Alex Dombrandt (2) and Northmore adding to their tally, while the visitors had Matt Banahan sent off for a dangerous tackle.

Gloucester head coach George Skivington said: “I wouldn’t debate that it’s a red card or anything, under the laws, but we do seem to be falling on the wrong side of decisions lately.

“I’m not going to argue either way, I just think that if we stop every incident in a rugby game, there would be no one left on the pitch.

“If I thought there was an issue with our character, then I would scream and shout a little bit, but actually I thought the boys worked unbelievably hard.

“Those young lads that came on, the energy they brought, it wasn’t necessarily accurate, but it was energetic.

“They played rugby together as kids and they’re growing nicely.

“That’s their exposure, that’s their learning, so there’s no point in getting too down or screaming and shouting about it.

“I would have liked to have nicked the bonus point, but it wasn’t to be.”

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'We almost started too well': Evans focusing on the positives following massive lead slip

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