O’Shea era ends with defeat in Challenge Cup final

Conor O'Shea

Harlequins’ dream of lifting the European Challenge Cup in Conor O’Shea’s final game in charge was dashed after they were beaten 26-19 by Montpellier in Lyon.

Both sides traded early penalties, while Quins’ Nick Evans also struck an upright, before Jesse Mogg scored a try for Montpellier midway through the first half.

Evans kicked two more penalties to reduce the deficit at half-time to just 13-9, but pulled another one wide after the break.

Mogg went over again shortly afterwards and Montpellier fly-half Demetri Catrakilis – who converted both tries – continued to kick unerringly, a couple of penalties stretching the lead to 26-9.

Quins piled on the pressure in the latter stages and were rewarded with a try from Marland Yarde, after good work by Chris Robshaw and George Lowe, to give them hope.

Ben Botica, who replaced Evans, converted and then slotted over a penalty but Quins were left with too much to do.

O’Shea now leaves The Stoop after six years to take charge of Italy, with current head coach John Kingston replacing him.