Match reaction - Dai Young post La Rochelle
Date: 10 Dec 2017
Following Wasps’ match against Top 14 leaders La Rochelle, Director of Rugby Dai Young was pleased with the character and effort of the squad, as well as many elements of the performance, but re-iterated you can’t gift opportunities to a side of the quality of La Rochelle.
“That was certainly the best team I have coached against in Europe,” he said.
“They showed real class today. I thought some of their play was outstanding and when they got on the front foot, some of their offloading was pretty special and they have the physicality to punch it up as well.
“We always knew they were going to be a quality team, but we gifted them a few points as well which didn’t help and on top of that there were a few decisions that went against us.
“That wasn't why we lost though - they were the better team at the end of the day – but it left us with a mountain to climb. We knew we couldn’t afford to give a team like this a head a start. I was really pleased with the effort and commitment of my team and I saw enough today to feel confident going into next week.
“I thought the players played right to the end and we showed some good stuff. Next week is all about the start for us, we have to be really solid for the first 20 minutes and if we do that then there's no reason why we can't reverse this, but we're playing against a very good team and credit to them I thought they were very good.
“The try bonus point is massive for us. We could have come here and lost 10-6 and gone away with exactly the same thing, so the score is a bit irrelevant really.
“So it’s a start to have come away with the point, but we have to back it up with a win next week for it to count.
“The first 20-25 minutes we went into their 22 twice and came away with two tries. We showed we can score points against them, what we need to have is more ball in the right area.
“They're going to come into the game with a lot of confidence next week and we know we will have to defend against that onslaught again, but if we can get hold of the ball, show good discipline with it and avoid yellow cards, then we can try to open them up in the final 20 minutes, as we did here.
“I'm confident that if we start strong next week, there's no reason why we can't push it right to the wire and come away with a win."
"On behalf of the playing staff, I'd also like to thank our travelling fans who made the trip out to support the squad. You really made yourselves heard again today and we really appreciate that vocal support and look forward to seeing and hearing you all again at the Ricoh on Sunday for the return leg."