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Post Match Reaction: Dai Young

Dai Young gives his reaction to the nail biting 19-16 win over Exeter Chiefs at Adams Park.

After the game, Young was very frank about his side’s first half performance but was clearly pleased at the character his charges showed in turning around a 13-3 half time scoreline to come out 19-16 winners.

“I was very disappointed with our first half performance but I was very pleased with the second 40 and I think that it showed the character of this squad to turn around a deficit like that.”

“We want to play rugby but you have to play to the conditions. We caused ourselves a lot of problems in the first half because although we are trying to play, we weren’t accurate enough. In the first half we never really had a foothold in Exeter’s half to ask any questions of them. We got all our points in the first half from kicks near the halfway line.”

“We’ve had a pretty good month leading into this game and we thought that we let ourselves down in the first half. That’s no slight on Exeter, because I thought that they played at a pace that we struggled with. We haven’t played with that pace for at least the last month and it took us at least 20 minutes to get acclimatised to the pace they were playing with.”

“We knew that he had the strength of character. In the first half we had quite a few poor individual performances and we spoke about that at halftime. I expected a response second half and in fairness, as a team, to win the second half 16-3 was a big turnaround.”

“That’s the first time I’ve beaten Exeter since I have been at this Club so I was just pleased to get over the line.”

Young was quick to single out Man of the Match Joe Simpson, who not only scored a pivotal try, but also saved a try at the other end, getting himself underneath the ball as Henry Slade went over the line.

“Realistically, if that had been a try I think that would have been it for us. I think it would have been quite harsh on us if they had scored there, it came from a charge down and it was just unfortunate that it landed in their hands in a lot of space. It showed real determination from Joe to get back and it won us the game basically. He scored a good try himself, we all know how sharp he is off the base of the scrum and if you give him a bit of space he will punish you. I also think that his kicking game today was excellent and he kept us in the right areas of the field.”

The game was ultimately won in the final minute of the game with a 40 metre plus drop goal from Andy Goode, who was the first to admit after the game that the rest of his performance wasn’t his best. However, Young said that his second half display and kick to win the game were the measure of the man.

“He didn’t have a great 40 minutes, things weren’t going right and it changing things was certainly something that we thought about. He started to work his way back into the game after halftime and that is the measure of the guy really, that was not an easy drop goal.”

Once again, Young also had praise for Joe Launchbury.

“He’s not a bad player! I said it last week but, since I have been here, Joe hasn’t been any worse than good. He is either just good or excellent. When we were struggling a bit and didn’t have much go-forward he was the guy who stuck his hand up and really carried well. People always talk about potential but he is there, he’s not only an international second row but he is now touching on world class. He doesn’t just do it in a Wasps shirt, he’s done it in an England shirt regularly.”