London Wasps won their third Aviva Premiership game on the bounce, beating Bath 29-15, to move into fourth place in the table going into a four week break from the competition.
Having taken 13 points from their three games over the festive period, Club captain Hugo Southwell said that he thought his side’s performance showed just how far they had come since last season, which saw them avoid relegation by just a single point.
“It shows how far we have come I think. It might not have been the same at the start of the season or last year. I think that the last five minutes actually summed us up as a team, holding them out. It was a big thing for us not to let them get that bonus point, you never know what it will come down to at the end of the season. To stop them getting that just shows how much determination and effort there is in this group of players. Obviously what went before was outstanding, but for me as a captain, and I’m sure the same can be said for the coaches, that last five minutes was outstanding.”
“I think that we have come a long way since last season. Last season we were pretty hit and miss in the sense that we would have a great game and then we would have a not so good game. The squad has changed a bit but at the same time we have been able to hold together a core group of players who know what it felt like to be in the sort of position we were last year and don’t want to be there again. I think that as a team we are improving every week and that’s all you can ask for.”
The game didn’t start in the best fashion, with Bath holding the lead until the 35th minute but Southwell says that the way his team responded to that shaky start was a positive to take away.
“We didn’t want to start the game that way but unfortunately we did. It was just a case of errors upon errors. The good thing however is that we pulled ourselves up from that and managed to control the second period of the first half and much of the second half. We knew that if we did that we would be there or there about. Obviously the timing of the try at the end of the first half was key to the way the game turned out and we were able to build from there. The first 20 minutes aside, the last 60 was very positive.”
The win sees Wasps move into the top four but Southwell says that his side will not be getting ahead of themselves.
“Having got into the top four it would obviously be great to stay there, but that is going to be a massive task, we have some hugely tough games coming up. We have a months break now from the Premiership and when we come back into it we face Harlequins away and they don’t come much harder than that. Obviously it is great to be in the position that we are in but we are not taking anything for granted. We have won three games in the Premiership now on the bounce which has got us into the top four and we know all too well that it can go the other way and then we will find ourselves sinking back down the table. The Premiership is that tight that a couple of bad games, a couple of bad results you can slide back down the table.”
“Winning gives you a huge amount of momentum and you can feel it in the squad amongst the other guys that there is a massive belief in what we can do. Obviously you never want to get over confident but we are at the level now where we are a very confident team, we trust each other, we play for each other and long may that continue.”
London Wasps take on Mogliano next Saturday in the Amlin Challenge Cup. Tickets are available from the London Wasps Ticket Office on 0844 225 2990 or book online here.