Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea lauded his side's character and commitment following their gutsy win over Gloucester in the European Cup on Saturday.
Quins left Kingsholm with a stunning 28-9 success as they made it 12 victories in a row this season and two from two since their return to the European Cup.
But while attacking enterprise has been at the centre of so many of their domestic triumphs this year, this latest step forward was based on a huge effort without the ball as the home side dominated territory and possession.
"You can't coach desire, will and attitude like that," said O'Shea after Quins produced an outstanding defensive display to keep Gloucester tryless on their own patch.
"I have to hand it to the boys. They were magnificent in defence. It shows the character of this team, especially when you drive yourself to get up and make tackles when your line is broken," he pointed out.
Harlequins were brimming with confidence heading into the match thanks to their remarkable start to the season, but O'Shea explained that taking Gloucester for granted would have been seriously dangerous no matter how good their form has been.
He said: "This is one of the hardest places to come and get any sort of result. At times it might have been a statistical anomaly in terms of possession but there are two sides to the game, with and without the ball.
"And without the ball they were magnificent. You look at Joe Marler's tackle on Henry Trinder that stopped a certain try. He could easily have given up but he made the tackle and the ball came loose. Those moments are game changers - it's not all about the tries," added O'Shea.
Quins did manage to score three tries of their own, though, despite living off minimal ball, with man of the match Mike Brown and Matt Hopper crossing in the first half and Nick Easter powering home from 30 metres with seven minutes remaining.
While Gloucester may have won the battle of the stats, O'Shea was delighted with his side's ability to take their chances when opportunities did come their way.
And after avoiding a single defeat in close to three months of rugby this season, Quins can now look ahead to the double header with former champions Toulouse, starting at The Stoop on December 9, with a great deal of confidence.
"I felt we set our stall out at the start in the way we retained the ball and when we had it we looked threatening," added O'Shea, who praised the team spirit within his squad.
"We didn't have a huge amount of it, but we were clinical and we took our chances," he said.
O'Shea explained that the fact that his team has been together for such a long time has been a crucial factor in their recent success.
"There's an energy amongst these guys. One of the things that Tony Diprose and Colin Osborne have worked at it is bringing through a group of players that have grown up together. That means something.
"When we play Toulouse in three weeks, our playing budget will be dwarfed by theirs but we'll have a heck of a lot of heart and a full Stoop who are very proud of the way their team play. We've got guys who passionately care about the club," he said.
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