Dai Young Reaction Post Bath
Following the 16-9 win over Bath Rugby, Wasps’ Director of Rugby shared his post match thoughts:
“Our performance was a big step up from last Friday and I’m really pleased with that. We improved on a lot of aspects we talked about last week. I thought we deserved to win that game and were the better team today to be honest.
“Yet again, we made it hard work for ourselves towards the end. Bath are a quality side who are never going to go away, we know that, that's why they were finalists last season. I thought we controlled most aspects of the game and we should probably have won it a little bit more comfortably than we did in the end.
“There was far more bite in our defence today and I thought the line speed was a lot better than last week. Bath's defence on their line was also outstanding on many occasions. They really made us work, but overall we probably had the better opportunities in the game and looked more like scoring.
“It was difficult to play a lot of rugby in those conditions, the ball was really skidding across the surface out there. During the first half, we probably lost the kicking battle a little and it was a bit of a cagey affair from both sides. The conditions meant both teams were intent on winning field position.
“The kicking game wasn't easy, but I thought both teams tried to play, particularly in the second half, but everyone knew with the conditions the way they were, that territory was going to be hugely important. I thought we controlled their driving lineout well and that’s an area that has caused a lot of teams trouble.
Asked for his thoughts on the penalty try awarded to Wasps, after Nathan Hughes was pulled back off the ball, Young said:
“I thought the penalty try was straightforward enough. I wouldn't have been too disappointed if that had gone against us, if it had been Bath in that position who were awarded the try. I think it was pretty blatant. From our point of view I thought we were the better team and deserved something like that.
Asked whether there was more to come from this Wasps team, Young replied: “I think there’s lots more to come from this team, especially when it comes to learning to close games out. We were 16-3 up at one stage, so we’ve got to develop that killer instinct. The final five minutes were a bit of cardiac material again and we seem to be very good at doing that,” he joked.
“When you get into a situation where you are about two scores in front, you have to kick on and that seems to be our achilles heel at the moment. We gave Bath a sniff and towards the end and we were clinging on a little bit. So that’s an area we will certainly work on. As you could see with two or three minutes to go, they were right back in it and I don't think we help ourselves sometimes. It would have been bitterly disappointing if we hadn't come away with the win today.
Asked about the impact of Wasps’ returning England internationals, Young said:
“I thought Joe Launchbury was outstanding today and James Haskell came back and won a lot of collisions around the breakdown for us. I was really pleased to have them back, but it was a real 23-man performance to beat a team as good as Bath. I thought the bench came on and did really well. Carlo Festuccia looked really strong and then Ashley Johnson came on and also performed really well and that is what we are looking for. We are trying to build a squad. It's not just about the starting 15, it's about the 23 on matchday and beyond that, about the whole squad. We were found wanting a couple of times last season against top four sides, but today we looked more comfortable in that company.
"There’s still lots to work on, as that killer instinct is not quite there yet. It doesn't get any easier with Leicester next week. As we all know, there are no easy games in the Premiership.”