Delighted Haskell retains sense of perspective as Wasps beat Toulon
Having thrashed Leinster and Toulon in successive weeks, Wasps have spring-boarded themselves into European rugby’s brightest spotlight.
The 65-12 aggregate scoreline across the two matches tells its own story, as does a try-count of seven-nil.
Before a ball was kicked, Dai Young’s team were described on national radio as being ‘the outsiders’ in pool five.
Given the presence in the pool of two three-times champions, plus last year’s Aviva Premiership runners-up Bath, this was perhaps understandable, but it is certainly far from being the case now.
Wasps could therefore be forgiven a sense of excitement about the events of the last eight days, However, skipper James Haskell is fully aware that his club’s achievements on the field must be kept very much in perspective, given what has happened away from the rugby pitch during the same timeframe.
“I said to the guys before the game that with all the madness and sadness that’s going on in the world, and with losing Jonah Lomu so early in his life, that you have to seize opportunities like tonight,” said the England flanker”.
“We have to realise how lucky we are to do what we do in a safe environment in front of 20,000 people, and go out and enjoy ourselves.”
“You have to respect Toulon for being the incredible team they are, but the boys certainly delivered. We haven’t won anything in terms of silverware, but that is a great step forward.”
“The most important things for me are that not only does Dai Young have to smile twice in two weeks , but that we were consistent and that is really important.”
“I really enjoyed this evening; it was like a test match out there, Toulon are huge boys, so a few of us will be in pieces for the next couple of days.”
Wasps’ win also completed a first full-house of European Cup wins by the Aviva Premiership representatives since 2008. Haskell said that although he never shared the sense of despondency which has existed around the English game since the World Cup, this set of results is a big positive.
“We haven’t won anything yet, so let’s not get carried away, he said.”
“I never thought English rugby was in a bad place, although people talked it up then cut it down, which is the beauty of the media and the armchair fan”
“We have a great set of players in this country and a great English spirit, so we will see what happens moving forward”.
“I might need to eat my words if all the French teams pull their fingers out and start winning all the games again, which they have the ability to do, but this weekend is very exciting for English rugby, and I think we are in a good place, and I am very pleased to have contributed to it with our win.”
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