NEC Harlequins head coach Mark Evans was not pleased by his sides second half display in yesterday's (Saturday 25th September) 18-10 defeat to Bath at the Stoop; a result that leaves Quins still looking for their first win of the new league campaign after four matches.
"We didn't play in the second half," started Evans in the post match press conference. "I thought with 35 minutes played and we were 10-3 up that our lineouts were going really well, we were scrummaging well and we looked the more dangerous team. I thought that things were looking pretty promising."
"Then on 38 minutes we had a scrum and stretched them wide, then turned possession over and didn't fall on the loose ball. From that they went on and scored and made it a 10-8 ball game at half-time. Then in the second half our basics were really poor."
Despite the disappointing display in the second 40 minutes, Quins had their opportunities of adding to their ten-point tally scored in the first half but failed to capitalise on any of the chances they created.
"They dropped a goal to go 11-10 in front and then we won the restart and went into their twenty-two, and stayed there for some while but didn't come away with anything. We had more than a couple of glimmers; Jeremy (Staunton) looked as if he was going over a couple of times but was pulled up a couple of yards short. In what was a tight game, you've got to take your chances; we didn't and got punished for that."
One area of real concern for Evans in the second half was the performance of the pack in the set-pieces.
"Our scrummage started to go, so I put Maurice Fitz Gerald and Roy Winters on and we scrummaged really well for two scrums. Then Maurice got knocked out, which didn't help. We got out muscled at the scrum in the second half on our own ball and I would like to have a look at the tape of the lineouts, because it went from being very good to very poor in the space of a half."
Next weekend (Saturday 2nd October) and Quins travel to newly promoted Worcester, who are also looking for their first win of the season after four rounds of fixtures.
"That's a big game now," admitted Evans. "The player's confidence has taken a knock and that's when you've got to front up mentally, and that's going to be a big challenge next week because the longer you're on a losing run the more difficult it becomes."
During week commencing 22nd April Harlequins will launch an innovative, new Membership Scheme which will replace the existing Season Ticket Holder Programme. Further details of the scheme will be announced in due course.