Dai Young hails Wasps’s spirit after Stade Français win

Dai Young hails Wasps's spirit after a 30-29 win against Stade Français in the first leg of their Rugby Champions Cup

By Gareth Llewellyn
Wasps
30
S Français
29

Dai Young hailed the spirit of his players after they stole a 30-29 win over Stade Français in the first leg of their Rugby Champions Cup qualification play-off.

In a close match at Adams Park, the Aviva Premiership club went in at the break 13-12 up but were guilty of allowing the French giants back into the match before Andy Goode sent over a penalty with the last play of the match to set up a tense showdown in the second leg.

I always felt that we would have to win both games to qualify if I am totally honest

Dai Young

“I was extremely proud of the players today,” Young said. “We all know the ability that Stade have in their ranks and we went toe-to-toe with them and showed the kind of rugby we can play.

“Our Achilles heel—as has been the case all season—is that we work really hard to score points and then let sides back in by making fundamental errors.”

“We gave them two opportunities from two kicks that went out on the full. Any lineout in our 22, even if you stop the maul, their pick and go is deadly. They are a big mob up front so you have to take that into account.

“If you give them that kind of field position you have got a tough job keeping them out. We got beaten by a first phase move off a lineout, which is very unlike us, but for all their other points we contributed to our own downfall.”

The Wasps head coach admitted a win in Paris was always something he expected to reach the new 20-club European tournament and today’s result means a draw or a win by any margin at the Stade Jean-Bouin next weekend will see the English club though.

“I always felt that we would have to win both games to qualify if I am totally honest,” he added. “I never felt that we would have a huge lead leaving Adams Park.

“It would have been very dangerous anyway to go there and sit back against a side of their quality, hoping that they didn’t score however many points.

“The positives are we showed today that we can cause them problems. A bit more accuracy and attention to detail and we can cause them a lot more problems.

“We had one or two opportunities that we didn’t quite make the most of. I think that the fundamental errors we made that gave them points or field position we won’t make next week.”

Young believes the second leg will be even more of a challenge with a short turnaround after a season in which both clubs have lost key personnel to injury and expect to have players away on summer tours next month.

“We are going out there full of confidence and self-belief,” he said. “We know how good they are and how big a challenge it is but we know now that we are good enough to match it.

“It is a short turnaround and the guys are tired after that but if you can’t carry a few bumps and bruises through these type of games then you would have to ask questions and I have never had to ask those kind of questions of this group. They want it just as much as anyone else.

“We have to be sensible about that this week, we’re not going to change a hell of a lot and we have to focus on the positives.

“We caused them lots of problems today and the challenge next weekend is one that we are looking forward to. We can go there and not leave anything in the changing room.”

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