IT might be a case of running before they can walk, but Wasps’ win over Leicester has prompted talk of a top-four finish this season.
Certain pundits suggested it was possible after the black and golds edged Tigers 14-12 on Sunday, and although director of rugby Dai Young was pragmatic this week, he certainly didn’t rule it out.
He said: “It’s so early in the season. Things change very quickly and we could quite easily kick on and be in the top four or quite easily be fighting for relegation at the end of the season.
“Everything is tightly balanced. It could go either way for us.
“I believe we’ve got the potential to keep moving forward, but at what rate, who knows?”
As it stands, Wasps are down in eighth place. But so congested is the top of the table that they are still just six points off the lead and one result from the play-off positions.
However, if Wasps are serious about challenging at the right end of the table this season then tomorrow’s trip to Exeter is the sort of match they need to be winning.
Young said: “The weekend will be another key indicator how much we’re improving as a team.
“We still haven’t nailed an away performance, which we need to do.
“If we’re going to be in contention for the top six never mind the top four we have to start winning away games as well.
“Exeter is never an easy place to go. They’ve got a really good home record but if we consider ourselves top-six material these are the areas we’ve got to go and win.”
To do it though, Young expects his pack will have to becalm opponents even more robust than the Tigers eight that came to Wycombe last weekend.
He said: “Exeter haven’t got that many stars, but they’ve got a quality pack, a heavy pack. They’re really strong in the set piece so I think it will be a bigger test for us this week than last week.”
But while that might have been enough to pluck the Chiefs’ feather last season, this year the Devon outfit have added to the battering ram approach that served them so well in their debut season in the Premiership with a backs division more than capable of throwing it around.
Young said: “They score a lot of tries, they’re second in the league for tries scored so our defence is going to be tested.
“They’re only second to Harlequins for keeping the ball in hand so we’ll have to work hard.
“We’ll probably have to make more tackles than in most other games.
“It will be a test, but one I feel we’re capable of rising to. But talk is cheap, we have to do it.”