Dai Young – Post Match Reaction – Wasps vs. Zebre
Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young was evidently happy with five points and getting the job done to secure a quarter final, but also knew there was plenty of room for improvement in terms of the performance against Zebre Rugby.
"The performance was disappointing today, but to be honest it wasn't really about that this afternoon," he said. "It was about topping the group and getting out of it to guarantee we made the last eight, which we've now done three years on the trot.”
"We expected Zebre to come out and be a very proud team, and they certainly were. They played some really good rugby today, but that wasn't a great performance by us and we're going to have to be a lot better.”
"We had talked this week about concentrating on ourselves, starting strongly and not giving Zebre any belief or confidence in the first 20 minutes, and we didn't manage that. "Our set-piece was average in that period, our scrum creaked a bit, we lost a few lineouts and didn't respect the situation.”
"We tried to play from really deep, thinking we could score every time we got the ball and then made mistakes. This gave Zebre lots of possession and territory and meant we had to do things the hard way. “
"Although we weren't as good as we could have been, you have to put some of that down to Zebre as well and give them credit. This was their last chance to make a mark this year and I'm sure they would have gone out there today wanting to show people they are worthy of being in this competition, which they did.”
"In fairness to them, they played well, showed lots of spirit and caused us plenty of problems. We didn't play well, but we were pressurised into making mistakes and at the set-piece. "It's the best I have seen Zebre play, but it wasn't a surprise to me, as I thought they might cause an upset somewhere along the line, and was hoping it wouldn't be against us!"
Looking ahead to Wasps' quarter final against Leinster in Dublin, Young was asked if it helped being up against a team that Wasps have played a lot recently in Europe. "We played Leinster twice last season, but they are a much-improved team who have been playing with real tempo this season.”
"Last season, they were a team in transition, but they've really clicked this year so we know we'll have to be at our best against them. "We have been to Dublin and won before so that will give us belief that we are capable of doing it again, but we are under no illusion about how much better we will need to be than we were today to achieve that.” “
“A performance like today won't be good enough against a team like Leinster."
Asked about the return of James Haskell, Young was happy with how well the England international performed during his 55 minutes on the pitch, saying: "We didn't want to leave James Haskell out there any longer than 55 minutes, and I thought he did really well.”
"He was very physical and got through some carries and showed a couple of nice offloads, so I'm sure he'll be pleased to be back on the field and will be looking forward to meeting up with the England camp this week having done well and come through unscathed. All of our international squad members have come through well and they go off to camp tomorrow with our best wishes."
Meanwhile Wasps will await the results of a scan next week for Guy Thompson, who was forced off due to a hand injury
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