27th Jun, 2022

RUGBY UNION - Blackett: Wasps must be relentless to beat Edinburgh

LEE BLACKETT wants his Wasps team to be “relentless” when they face Edinburgh in a crucial European Challenge Cup quarter-final this weekend.

Wasps previously won the competition in 2002/03 and saw off Top 14 side Biarritz in the last round to set up a quarter-final tie with Edinburgh.

The club have been in good form of late, both domestically and in Europe, and Blackett stressed the importance this weekend’s game holds to Wasps season.

Blackett said: “It’s exciting that if you win all three games in this competition then you win a trophy, we’re so focused on this weekend because we think it’s a really important game for this club.

“Edinburgh had a massive kicking mentality and set-piece focus when we last played them a couple of years ago, they’ve changed their game slightly since then.

“They’ve got one of the best defences in the URC (United Rugby Championship) and they don’t concede many points – they’ve conceded 10 points or less in six games this season.

“We know how big of an arm-wrestle this game is going to be and how tight it is going to be, they’re a team that are going to hold onto the ball for long periods.

“We know we’re going to have to be at our best, we’re going to have to better than we were against Biarritz, we’re going to have to be relentless for 80 minutes.

Wasps surrendered a 25-point lead to draw with London Irish last time out much to the frustration of Blackett who is refusing to give up on achieving a top-four finish.

Blackett added: “Three points away from home against a side a point ahead of you in the table normally isn’t the worst result but it felt like a defeat.

“It doesn’t change anything, until we mathematically can’t get there [into the top four] we won’t stop giving it everything in terms of our fight for that, we’re refusing to give up on it.

“It was as complete a performance as I’ve seen for 67 minutes, we were clinical in attack, we were putting them under immense pressure defensively, our scrum was really good, our maul was really good – it was by far our most complete performance of the season.

“It’s not easy to be 25 points up away at London Irish and we found ourselves in that great position, the frustration is how we dropped our standards, they got momentum, we’ve got to move on.

“We’ve got to pick ourselves up and its perfect timing for another competition and a European quarter-final, it’s come at the perfect time for us.”

Wasps match with Edinburgh takes place on Saturday, May 7 with kick-off at 12.30pm at Edinburgh Rugby Stadium.

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