Wasps boss Dai Young just happy to get the win to keep in touching distance of Saracens - The Coventry Observer

13th Aug, 2022

Wasps boss Dai Young just happy to get the win to keep in touching distance of Saracens

RUGBY UNION: THERE was a hint of fortune to Wasps’ 31-6 victory over Newcastle Falcons as director of rugby Dai Young admits he was just happy to pick up another win to keep in touching distance of Aviva Premiership leaders Saracens.
Wasps were far from their best at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday and despite leading by 17 points with 20 minutes played, it looked as though the visitors might pull off a shock upset.
But the home side eventually found their fluency with replacement Danny Cipriani making the difference by setting up Jimmy Gopperth to score two late tries to secure a bonus point victory.
“The scoreline flattered us a little bit,” said Young. “It wasn’t a vintage performance from us, I thought we looked a little bit flat and a little bit fatigued, but we found a way to win and had enough to get over the line.
“I would have settled for the win. To come away with the bonus point at the end was a bit fortunate, but we’ll take it. I never really feared we were going to lose the game, but it could have gone right to the wire.
“I thought Newcastle were in that game for long periods, but we found that little bit of energy and accuracy when it was needed. We did have another gear, but it was disappointing that we didn’t kick on when it was 17-0 and we waited for the last five or 10 minutes to really push on.”
Gopperth slotted home a 25-metre penalty to put the hosts in front before a penalty try and a score from Frank Halai, both of which were converted by Gopperth, put Wasps in a commanding position with a quarter of the game played.
Newcastle responded well but could only score three points in the opening period thanks to the boot of Mike Delany. They started the second period brightly too and another Delany penalty reduced the deficit to 11 points.
Dan Robson and Cipriani were introduced as Wasps looked to move up a gear but Newcastle were still causing problems although they were unable to break down the home defence.
With 11 minute minutes remaining Wasps scored a third try with Gopperth scoring to pass 100 Premiership points for the season.
Gopperth crossed again late on and was successful with both conversions to wrap up what was on paper a comfortable win, but Newcastle had every right to feel aggrieved by the scoreline.
Wasps sit second in the table just one point behind leaders Saracens ahead of a two-week break for the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
“It’s quite a tired dressing room,” Young added. “We’ve had a lot of big games and the guys in there deserve a week off next week to re-charge their batteries as we go into the Anglo-Welsh.
“I certainly would have settled for where we are at this point, coming into the season. We’ve had some really big performances and some very good results.”

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