Despite a last gasp attempt which saw Tom Howe come close to grapping a late winner for Wasps, the men in black and gold were left to rue a disappointing passage just after half time, which saw them leak 12 unanswered points and an uphill battle.
Winger Jonah Holmes had a fine game on his return to the Club from his loan spell at Leeds for a few weeks, and he says that, despite being pleased with some exciting passages of play, the team knew that their lack of consistency through the middle part of the game was their undoing.
“There were exciting bits where we played really well but you can’t play a side like Saracens playing well for five minutes and then not very well for the next five. You just can’t afford to do that because you will end up losing. We knew what kind of game they would bring; it was always going to be a very organised defense coming at us and they were always going to play the conditions well. The pleasing thing was that we opened that up a good few times but we were then unable to assert our authority on the game in terms of points on the board.”
“We mustered some real strength at the end, scoring that try, and the last part of the game was all us but we were chasing the game and you would have to pull everything out of the bag to turn around a deficit like the one we had worked ourselves into. You could see the boys firing at the end but it was the mistakes in the middle part of the game that killed us. We now have some very clear areas to work on in training. We can’t afford to slip off halfway through games and expect to win.”
Holmes, who is dual-registered with Leeds this season and has scored in every game he has played in with them, joined back up with the Wasps squad at the start of this week to prepare for the game and says that, although it is difficult to jump straight into a new environment, it is an opportunity that he was delighted to be presented with.
“It is tough to come back into what, despite me being here previously, is in truth a new environment with new structures and new players to get to know but you have to take those kind of chances if you want to progress as a player. Today’s game was a great opportunity for me. The LV=Cup is a great opportunity for players like myself, young boys coming through to get a real feel of senior rugby and play alongside some guys who are playing top flight rugby week in week out. The main thing is playing and playing as well as you can.”
Director of Rugby Dai Young couldn't hide his disappointment with the result.
"It was probably a good game to watch if you were impartial but I am disappointed in our performance. It was commendable to come back as we did and it was exciting for the crowd but some of our skill level tonight at times was really disappointing. Saracens were very efficient and very effective and made far less mistakes than us."
"We dropped a lot of ball and we conceded a lot of turnovers in the first half. We were lucky to be in the game with our first half stats to be honest."
"I thought James Haskell, Guy Thompson and Jonah Holmes were very good tonight so there were some positives out there but as a whole we have to improve if we want to stretch teams like Saracens."
Young also had a mention for the debut of prop Alex Lundberg, who came on in the second half, becoming the first Wasps player to start his rugby life in the Wasps minis and go all the way through to the senior side.
"It was nice to get Alex on. He is a fantastic prospect. He is working really hard on his game and it’s a testament to the Club and the pathways here that he has come through it. It will be a very proud moment for his family tonight."