Dai Young Post Leinster
Following a rollercoaster game, which saw Wasps concede 20 points in the first half but not a single point in the second half, while scoring 14, Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young summed up the emotions:
“Obviously we’re disappointed and we left ourselves too much to do in the second half. We felt the first half was all Leinster. We had no possession and defended for the first forty minutes.
“They chucked the kitchen sink at us, but we felt, if we could get some field position and some ball, we could cause problems. Certainly in the first half we didn’t feel like we fired any shots ourselves.
“We got ourselves back into the game, we controlled the tackle area much better in the second half and we produced some good opportunities, but in the end it wasn’t enough.
“I was proud of the display in the second half and proud of the players, because certainly coming into half time with that mountain to climb, against such a quality outfit, it could have been quite easy to throw in the towel. So I thought we showed some great character and also we played some good stuff as well.
“You can’t doubt the character of this group. It wasn’t quite enough to get what we wanted, but we’ve got to be proud of the effort.”
Asked about how far his squad of players had come to be in a position to qualify for the quarter finals, despite losing their first two pool games, Young said:
“We looked dead and buried after the first two games. We showed a lot of character and a lot of quality as a team really and we’re not far off.
“It’s still a bit raw at the minute, so we’re all a little bit disappointed and we feel like we could’ve got that result today which could’ve taken us through.
“We still have a chance of qualifying, but we are relying on other results to go our way. If it’s not enough to get us to the knockout stages, I’m still proud of the effort and we’ve certainly improved as the season’s gone on.
“We’ve got used to playing at this kind of intensity, which can only benefit the group as a whole.
“Hopefully it will be enough but if it’s not, we’ve got to make sure we’re here again next season, so all our focus will turn back to the Aviva Premiership and making sure we get in that top six, because we’ve enjoyed playing at this stage. We know that we’ve grown into it and we’ve got better as the competition has gone on.
“Hopefully we’ve learned from it because the intensity is completely different at this level - it’s a bit of a step up.”
Young was also keen to thank the incredible support at the Ricoh Arena again today as almost 24,000 came to support the squads.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the interest and the support here. They’ve done a great job off the field to get these numbers in and I thought their support was excellent, especially when we needed them when the score started to go against us.
“They were really vocal and got behind us which we really appreciated. It was a great occasion and hopefully we can have many more big occasions here, because that’s what this type of support and what this stadium deserves.”