Match reaction: Dai Young post London Irish

Date: 26 Nov 2017

Following the narrow win over London Irish, Director of Rugby Dai Young acknowledged there was an element of playing a "get out of jail" card and is looking for an improved performance against Leicester Tigers next week.

“I’m obviously pleased with the win, it's always good to get a win on the road, but we probably dodged a bullet today. We got out of jail a little bit. Credit to London Irish who played really well and pushed us to the wire today.

“Defensively I thought we were strong. We showed a lot of resilience near our line again. They had lots of pick and goes. So I’m pleased with how we defended, but obviously we don't want to be defending for the length of time that we are defending at the moment.

“Set-piece we were strong, but I thought we were quite poor with the ball. Certainly first-half we turned over a lot of the ball.

“We turned over the ball nine times within the first three phases, so we were never going to mount the kind of pressure that we wanted to.

“I thought we got better in the second-half. After half-time we were respecting the ball a little bit more.

“I don't want to stop the boys playing, so it’s a fine line to tread, encouraging them to want to play and to look to offload, but only when it’s on and not giving silly passes.

“Having said that, in the second half, when we had the opportunities, we scored some good tries.

“I was pretty confident we would turn it around because we were producing line-breaks and creating opportunities. In the first half, we weren't patient enough to nail those opportunities.

“I’ve said it before and I’ve re-iterated it to the players. We’re confident that on our day we can beat any team, as I'm sure every other team will be, but if we're 5% off our best, any team in this league can beat us and that was almost the case today.

“I thought we were five to ten per cent away from the performance of the last couple of weeks. That was a game that could have gone either way, we just had that little bit of extra quality I think. Le Roux's pass to put Bassett away was excellent, so we just had enough in the locker to get home. 

“All due respect to Irish, they've been knocking at the door in the last couple of weeks, so we knew this would be tight and I think their last couple of games have been tight. But giving them the respect that they deserve, if we give the top teams that much ball in our own 22, we'll come unstuck. We know we're going to have to be better.”