Wasps 20 Leinster 20: Dai Young disappointed by draw
Director of rugby rules out watching other matches as Wasps are forced to play waiting game on European qualification
Dai Young inists he won’t watch other matches as he waits to find out whether Wasps have qualified for the European Champions Cup quarter-finals.
The Wasps director of rugby was left disappointed as his side produced a stunning second-half comeback from 20-6 down against Leinster before outside-half Andy Goode sliced wide a last-gasp drop goal effort that would have secured top spot in Pool 2.
If it’s not enough, it should make us all the more determined to come in that top six in the Premiership and have another crack at it next season.
While a draw was enough to get Leinster through to the last eight, Wasps must wait for Sunday’s games to play out to determine their fate.
With Ulster defeating Leicester Tigers at the Kingspan Stadium on Saturday evening, that leaves Young and his team needing Clermont Auvergne to defeat Saracens at home and Glasgow Warriors to overcome their injury problems to defeat Bath at The Rec.
“We’re very disappointed.” Young said.
“We’ve probably got a slim chance of going through, but we’ve relinquished control.
“Sarries and Bath are in the mix, but we need teams to do us favours.
“If we do get a bit of luck, we’d be thrilled to be in the knockout stages.
“I think we’ve shown our quality. Everyone wrote us off after we lost our first two games.
“If it’s not enough, it should make us all the more determined to come in that top six in the Premiership and have another crack at it next season.
“I’m sure we’ve learned from the whole experience and will be better for it.”
Highlights: Wasps 20-20 Leinster https://t.co/wZMIAN3MIw
— BT Sport Rugby (@btsportrugby) January 24, 2015
Wasps will rue their first-half indiscipline which saw Ashley Johnson and Lorenzo Cittadini sin-binned for needless infringements.
The game was barely 10 seconds old when flanker Johnson collided with airborne Leinster wing Dave Kearney, who landed heavily on his shoulder.
French referee Jerôme Garces, who famously red carded Jared Payne for a similar incident five minutes into the Heineken Cup quarter-final between Ulster and Saracens last season, was poised with his cards before seeing a replay.
To Johnson and Young’s relief, the eventual card was yellow, but Leinster quickly turned the screw during Johnson’s absence with a try in the corner through Fergus McFadden.
After a number of infringements, and a warning from a no-nonsense Garces, Cittadini was given 10 minutes on the sidelines for not releasing and Leinster again made the most of the numerical advantage and lay siege to the Wasps tryline.
Replacement scrum-half Isaac Boss sniped for the line, but play continued with the officials unsighted. Leinster recycled and played the ball right, with Wasps-bound outside-half Jimmy Gopperth going over, but the TMO ruled that Boss had enough of the ball on the whitewash.
Goode erred with a penalty at the end of the first half, but the second-half response from Wasps was emphatic as they turned the pressure up on Leinster, initially aided by Kane Douglas missing the opening 10 minutes of the restart after being yellow carded for a late tackle.
It didn’t help our cause that’s for sure. It takes the wind out of your sails when you want to start big and it means you’ve got to patch up in other areas.
Tom Varndell had a try chalked off nine minutes after the break as Nathan Hughes was penalised for obstruction and the Bristol-bound wing over-ran another pass out wide as Wasps twice butchered overlaps on the left flank.
With Leinster’s defence having to continually scramble, the rewards eventually came as Matt Mullan and Hughes, who were full of running, found their way over the Leinster line from short range, with Goode adding both conversions to level the score with nine minutes left on the clock.
But the big talking point other than Goode’s missed drop goal and three misses off the tee from Leinster’s Ian Madigan will be the Wasps indiscipline in the first half, but Young conceded that Johnson deserved a card for his challenge on Kearney.
“I thought it was the right decision, but they have gone the other way in the past as well,” Young added. ”
“It didn’t help our cause that’s for sure.
“It takes the wind out of your sails when you want to start big and it means you’ve got to patch up in other areas.”