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Young pleased with fine home effort

London Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young reflects on the fine 30-16 win over Bayonne which secures his side’s place at the top of their Amlin Challenge Cup pool.

“I am pleased we’ve showed real character to come away with that win. At 17-0 just before halftime we looked comfortable but that try just before the break gave them something to cling to. We knew they would come out with more confidence and belief and for 20 minutes of the second-half we became loose. Some of our kicking game that was so good first half fell away and it gave them a lot of field position.

“They have a big heavy pack and they were very difficult to get the ball back off. We caused ourselves problem but I was hugely pleased with the defensive effort of the team. They dug in deep under huge pressure. At 20-16 maybe a year ago we’d have lost that. We’d have been looking around for someone to do something special but everyone stood up and nobody wilted and when we got the chance we got the match wining try. We probably won that game twice to be honest.”

Having watched his side go 17-0 up and then Bayonne claw their way back to within four points, Young admitted to some worry in the coaching ranks.

“I was concerned at 20-16 yes in the stands. My main concern all week had been their driving lineout and their strength around the ruck area. We coped very well with that for 40 minutes but for the first 20 minutes of the second half we didn’t and we ended up defending for long periods but speaking to the boys after, they felt very confident throughout they could dig deep and win it and they can be very pleased to have done that.”

Wasps are now in charge of their pool having gone five points clear but there are two games to come against Mogliano at home and Newport Gwent Dragons away and Young is not getting ahead of himself.

“Rodney Parade I know better than anyone and anyone who underestimates them going there can catch a cold. That’s no easier than going to France and winning I believe. But all you can do is be in a position where everything is in your own hands. We have worked hard to put ourselves in a good position and we’ve got to kick on now and make sure we get to the quarterfinals.”

Looking ahead to the next three weeks of Aviva Premiership action, Young believes his side face three incredibly tough clashes.

“The boys have a little rest over the weekend going into a hugely important three games against Sale, London Welsh and Bath. If we can come away with the right results there that would really allow us to push forward and with two of those at home we want to be able to continue our form there but it is one game at a time. Sale will be desperate and will have targeted this as a game they can come and win. In fairness to them they beat us convincingly home and away last season. We couldn’t handle their physicality and we know they have quality players. They are going to start winning at some point, let’s just hope it’s after next week.”

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