Harlequins’ agonising European exit is certainly a bitter pill to swallow but prop Mark Lambert insists he and his teammates will now attack the rest of the season with a point to prove.
Quins impressed last weekend in Castres, running in seven tries in a superb 47-19 win in miserable conditions in France.
But elsewhere in Pool 2 Wasps secured a dramatic late draw with Leinster to knock Quins down to third in the table, remarkable considering they won four of their six games in the Pool.
That means that Quins’ European adventure is over for another year, and focus returns to domestic matters with the LV= Cup and then Aviva Premiership Rugby homing into view.
Harlequins won the league title back in 2012 after a painful European exit in Connacht and Lambert and co insist they will have to bounce back in similar fashion if they are to have a chance of making the semi-finals.
“It has been a tough pill to swallow, we must be one of the first teams in history to win four of our six games and not even finish runner-up,” said Lambert, who came off the bench to play tight-head for Quins this weekend to ease their injury concerns in the front row.
“And the other results would have gone our way as well which rubs salt in the wound but we have no-one to blame but ourselves, we didn’t get anything at home to Wasps and that is what has cost us.
“It might be one of the oldest clichés but you take more from your lowest point and lowest defeats than you do from your high points and victories.
“Ugo (Monye) reminded the squad that when we won the league in 2012 we had a crushing defeat at Connacht that knocked us out of Europe.
“Now I’m not saying that we are going to go and win the league now but we have much to play for this season.”
First up is the LV= Cup and Harlequins face a tough test next time out at home to an in-form Bath Rugby.
Both sides will deprived of many of the first-team stars with the Six Nations less than ten days away and Quins’ vaunted academy stars will again take centre stage.
And Lambert cannot wait to see what his up-and-coming teammates have to offer.
“The LV= Cup is a competition that we take very seriously,” added the 29-year-old.
“We have a great tradition having won it two years ago, back then it was a real boost for the whole squad and hopefully we can use that momentum again.
“There will probably be some first-year guys on the bench this weekend which is great for the club and a fantastic experience for them.”
Tickets for this year's LV= Cup Final on 22 March at Franklin's Gardens are now on sale. Click here to snap one up from just £20 for adults, £10 for juniors to see who will win the first silverware of the season.