Match Reaction: Dai Young post Northampton

Match Reaction: Dai Young post Northampton

Match Reaction: Dai Young post Northampton

Date: 9 Apr 2017

Following Wasps' last-gasp 32-30 win against Northampton Saints at the Ricoh Arena, Director of Rugby Dai Young was relieved after a patchy performance, but also proud of the character shown by his players to grind out the win.

"Obviously there is a bit of relief. On occasions we looked really good and really threatening and occasions we looked pretty average. Give Northampton a lot of credit, I thought they played really well. We knew they were going to test us today and it could have gone either way. They've done it to us in the past, nicked it right at the end, but it fell our way today. We had to do it tough, but I'm really pleased that the boys found a way to win at the end.

"Christian Wade scored another fantastic try, but the try of the game for me was Matt Mullan from half a yard," joked the DoR. "As an old prop forward you've got to tap him on the back for that!"

Wasps conceded five tries against a strong Northampton side, but Young was quick to point out that a lot of those tries came from offensive mistakes and responsibility should be taken as a collective.   

"Obviously there are concerns about our defence, we are leaking too many tries, but we are top of the league so we are doing plenty right! If you look at the origin of a lot of those tries, it has come from our attack. When we are too loose and don't respect the ball enough, we put a lot of pressure on our defence. It's a collective thing, its not just about when they have the ball and us fronting up in defence. We cause a lot of the problems ourselves. It's certainly not our focus to try and outscore teams in these crazy games, we want to be a bit tighter in defence. We certainly can't allow teams to score five tries, because there are going to be games like that where you don't quite have enough in attack to get over the line." 

Asked about what was said at half-time to turn it around Young said:  

"The message at halftime was the same as before the match; respect the ball, keep hold of it, earn the right to play and don't look to be individual and try things for yourself, respect the situation within the game. You're not going to score every time you get the ball and you're not going to score from areas where the defence is really strong. It was important that we went through phases, we got over three phases three times in the first half and had a try and two penalties from it. I said to them that we don't need to try this miracle pass, we don't need to try and create things from nothing. 

"We have to have confidence in our systems and because we weren't accurate and gave the ball up, we ended up defending for long periods and giving away silly points. Second half we tightened things up, got a little bit more direct, there were some really big carries from the forwards that got us on the front foot and the backs had a little bit of space to play. You've got to play on the front foot, you can't just be lateral." 

The win means Wasps have won 17 Premiership games at the Ricoh Arena in a row and Young knows how important home advantage can be at this time of the season. 

"Every team is more comfortable at home, you've only got to look at the European quarter finals, where only one team in the Champions and Challenge Cup combined won away from home. We know how important it is for us to get a home semi final - if we don't get it and we have to go away, we know we will be making it more difficult for ourselves. There is a lot of rugby still to be played and any team can beat any team in this league. As you saw, Bristol nearly beat Exeter yesterday and they are going to be scrapping for their lives so it's not going to get any easier next week. 

"I just want to say another big thank you to our Wasps fans, who again got behind us right until the final whistle. They didn't lose faith, just like the players never stopped believing they would win that game. We really appreciate that positivity and the backing they give us throughout a match, whether we are ahead or behind. I also assure you, we aren't trying to keep everyone on the edge of their seats until the final whistle!"