Match Reaction: Dai Young Post Sale Sharks

After a bonus point win over Sale Sharks to go into the top four, in front of a crowd of over 15,000, Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young was asked if this was the perfect way to start 2015.

“The top four is a nice way to start the year, but we know there’s still a long, long way to go,” he said. “We’ve just got to focus on the top six. It’s so tight, once you start thinking you’re the finished article or you’ve made it, you can start to slip down the table very quickly. So we’ve got focus on getting in the top six and there’s still more work to be done yet. We can only take it one game at a time.

"We would’ve settled for a win before the game, but in the end it was a comfortable win for us. We were in charge for the most part of that game, but next week we have to do it all again.

“You never get a complete performance and there are always plenty of things to work on, but certainly the positives hugely out-weighed any negatives today.

“Emptying the bench with 25 minutes to go allowed us to give a number of guys a bit more game time and also allowed us to look after some of the guys who have played a lot of rugby recently.

 “All in all, I’m really pleased with how the day’s gone.”

Asked to comment on Christian Wade’s electric performance, Young said:

“Christian Wade was outstanding, especially in the first half. Obviously we all know what he can do in space, but even when the space wasn’t there today, he showed some real physicality to break tackles and create opportunities. We all know he can finish opportunities but I don’t think he sometimes gets the credit he deserves for creating opportunities for other people. He's by far one of the most exciting wingers in the game with ball in hand and he's a big part of taking us forward.

“I think it would be hard to find a poor performance from our players today. Obviously some players played better than others. In the first half, I thought James Haskell and Ashley Johnson really got us on the front foot. Nathan Hughes always carries strongly for us. Our set piece was strong and there were very few mistakes made behind, so I’m a pretty happy camper at this moment in time."

After five wins in a row, including four try bonus points, Young recognises the importance of maintaining the work rate to keep the momentum going:

“The message was quite clear from the players, as well as the coaching staff, we need to look for constant improvement. Next week is a different week and a different day and what we’ve got to look at now is how we can improve individually and collectively to keep the momentum going. 

“As I mentioned to the squad before the game, we’ve also got a responsibility as a group of players and coaches, because our off field staff are certainly delivering. To have 28,000 in our first game here and then over 15,000 today, they deserve a real pat on the back for all the hard work they’re doing.

“The support we’re getting from within Coventry and Warwickshire, on top of our loyal season ticket holders, is phenomenal. The crowd was excellent again today. The supporters were very vocal and really got behind the team. Now we’ve got a responsibility to make sure we deliver on the field to give them the performances they want to get behind and want to keep coming back to watch.

We’ve had two big performances here, two big crowds, so we’ve got to keep that going and turn the Ricoh Arena into a real fortress as soon as possible."