Wasps reflect on their work last weekend
Wasps were forced to work hard for their London double-header win over London Irish on Saturday, but did eventually emerge with a bonus point win. The struggling Exiles scrapped hard at the breakdown, and provided Wasps’ co-captain Matt Mullan and his front row colleagues with a challenging afternoon in the scrum, before eventually being worn down in the final 15 minutes.
Frank Halai’s second try five minutes from time clinched the bonus point, which enabled Mullan to leave Twickenham as a relatively happy man. “We had three good performances in a row before today, especially the two in Europe, and knew it would be tough switching back into the Premiership,” the England loose head said. “Today was all about setting our stall out, and after setting high standards during those two European rounds it was about replicating that, and having the mentality to switch on and deliver something close to the previous two weeks.”
“We knew it was going to be tough coming into this game. London Irish may not have had the results, but you could see glimpses in their performances that today would be hard. They had come off the back of some better displays in Europe, but thankfully we got the win.”
“It wasn’t our best, but we dug in, stuck to the script and thankfully managed to secure a bonus point.”
After five rounds, Wasps have climbed into the top half of the Aviva Premiership for the first time this season, but Mullan said this is meaningless so early in the campaign.
“It is such a competitive league this year, that if you get two losses back-to-back, you are probably going to be down in the bottom four, and if you get two wins you will be in the top four.”
“Everybody seems to be beating each other, and it is still really early in the competition in what is a really tough year due to the condensed season. “Exeter next week will be hard as they pose so many threats, but we are pretty good at the Ricoh, and are hard to beat there.”
The league debut of World Cup-winning All Black prop Ben Franks had a significant impact on the performance of Irish’s front row, as a consequence of which neither side able to assert scrum control. Mullan, who went head-to-head with the Kiwi found him a formidable opponent.
“It was the first time I have played against Ben Franks, and I was very impressed,” he said.
“You could tell he has been round the international scene for a while, as he was strong and technically brilliant, so we had to grind it out. “Nobody wants to take a step backwards, and you know in the Premiership that a lot of the performance is based around getting at least parity in the front five.”
“We had our work cut out today, it was a bit messy and neither team really got on top until our subs came on and did a brilliant job closing the game down in the last few minutes.”
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