7th Jul, 2022

RUGBY UNION - Mitchell: Wasps need to take more responsibility away from home

ATTACK COACH John Mitchell believes Wasps need to take “greater responsibility” away from home ahead of their trip to Exeter Chiefs in the Gallagher Premiership this weekend.

 

Wasps have only won once on the road this season, a 27-17 victory at basement club Bath at the end of October, losing six of their eight matches on their travels.

 

The club’s most recent away performance saw them dumped out of the European Champions Cup at Munster and Mitchell feels Wasps must address their form away from the Coventry Building Society Arena.

 

Mitchell said: “We’ve got to take a far greater responsibility for our performances away from home, at times we’ve been youthful and away from home it’s more of a mindset than a physical challenge.

 

“We all have to play away from home, to me it’s no different to anywhere, I find it even more motivating to play away from home especially when you’ve got fans who want their own tribe to win.

 

“We’re not crying away from it, it’s an issue for us, we don’t like it, it’s a problem and we want to fix it, it’s easily fixed because it’s all around mental and it’s a good problem to address.

 

“Once you become difficult to beat away from home, then that ultimately becomes even a far greater opportunity for the club.

 

“We need to take greater responsibility for our mindset and mentality and our approach to away games.”

 

And former All Blacks coach Mitchell is expecting a tough game against the Chiefs after the two teams played out a brutal battle at the CBS Arena earlier this season.

 

Mitchell added: “Exeter, jeez, the last time we played them, that was some game.

 

“We threw everything at them and they threw even more back at us, I think we went to 12 or 13 men at one point, we were in our defensive 22 defending for ages.

 

“The effort we gave in that performance as a young group was phenomenal but we got no roses, they’ll take us into long phases and they’re very good at scoring from first phase attack.

 

“If you’re ill-disciplined, you’ll give them access to the 22 which they really get excited about, I’m sure the conditions will play a part as well because it’s pretty windy at the moment.

 

“That’s the kind of game we’re expecting.”

 

Wasps head into the game off the back of an impressive 26-20 win at home to Saracens as they look to build some momentum as their squad returns to full fitness.

 

He said: “It was a hard earned win, with the way the season has panned out we needed to find something different, it was good, we demonstrated that we like fighting for each other.

 

“The ascendancy that we had in the first 26 minutes, we didn’t convert enough, we’d like to get a lot more reward for that ascendancy, as a result of that we put ourselves into an arm-wrestle.

 

“Lee [Blackett] works through the whole squad, he doesn’t just rely on individuals, he’s had to drive his leadership through a number of younger players for the majority of the season.

 

“His ability to be consistent and stand up and keep delivering what we value installs really good behaviours, it starts with him, he’s not been able to select his best side all year.

 

“You have to adapt, the one constant in life is change and it happens far too frequently for us as coaches, the players are really good at how they handle that, you’re often so focused that you get in and get the job done.”

 

Wasps host Exeter on Saturday, February 5 with kick-off at 2.30pm at Sandy Road.

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