Macken: You have to be at your best to stake a claim

As Wasps prepare for Friday night’s trip to the Liberty Stadium to face Ospreys in the Anglo Welsh Cup, Brendan Macken says it's a chance for all involved to push their case.

In the opening game of the Anglo Welsh Cup last weekend, Wasps were edged out by Newcastle Falcons, in a 14-try thriller at the Ricoh Arena, which ended up 53-41 to the visitors.

One player who stood out was Wasps’ centre Brendan Macken, who was instrumental in a number of the home side’s scores.

As the men in black and gold prepare for the second round of the competition this Friday night, ahead of a return to the Aviva Premiership the following weekend, Macken says that there were a lot of positives to take from the way the side attacked against the Falcons.

“You can see from the scoreline that it was a bit of a basketball game but I thought that the intent we showed in attack, the willingness to attack, was great and we’ll definitely take that with us down to the Liberty Stadium this week,” he said. “We just need to get a little bit tighter defensively and I think we’ll be in good stead. 

“We have to make sure we’re winning our collisions, be a bit more dominant, because Newcastle were winning too many collisions, which then allowed them to play on the front foot and in turn puts more pressure on our defensive systems. We were disappointed to concede a few soft tries and that didn’t make good viewing when we looked back at the game in the early part of this week.

“There’s a big emphasis on ourselves in this competition and what we want to execute in both attack and defence. It’s another opportunity for the guys involved to go out with the Wasps jersey on and showcase your skills and what you can do to put your best foot forward. I just tried to get my hands on the ball as much as possible. With the game the way it was, it was pretty open, I got to do that a lot and it was a lot of fun.”

After Friday night’s game, Wasps will then return to the Aviva Premiership as they take on the Falcons in domestic action on Saturday 18 November at the Ricoh Arena.

“Hopefully there are opportunities for me there. I just have to take one game at a time because the quality we have here in the midfield is pretty exceptional and you always have to be at your best to really stake a claim.”

Tickets for Wasps v Newcastle Falcons at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday 18 November are available to purchase here, starting from £21 for adults, while under-10s go free in certain areas.