Wasps boss praises players after Irish win

Bucks Free Press: Dai Young was pleased with his players' response Dai Young was pleased with his players' response

DAI Young has lavished praise on his Wasps players after they circled the wagons at London Irish to restore club pride on Saturday afternoon.

A defeat labelled everything from unacceptable to embarrassing in their previous match against Bath followed them onto the pitch at the Madejski, but 80 minutes of hard, curmudgeonly rugby wiped the slate clean in the eyes of the Wasps director of rugby.

He said: “You’re not going to play well all the time and you’re going to make mistakes.

“But the biggest disappointment [against Bath] was we seemed to lack any enthusiasm or desire, which is a non-negotiable for any team that I’m involved in.

“They were told in no uncertain terms that I expected a reaction. I wanted to see how much they wanted to wear that jersey.

“They’ve got a responsibility to the jersey and the people that have worn it in the past and I thought they reacted very well.

“I thought they had the attitude, desire and commitment in abundance.”

The 19-12 victory was absolutely crucial in terms of the league table as well; if Wasps have realistic top six ambitions then trips to London Irish are the sort of matches they need to be winning.

Young said: “There is a lot of rugby to be played, but everybody knows it was an important game because everything is so tight.

“It was important for both teams and certainly very important for us to keep ourselves in the mix.

“But not only that, it was important to show the reaction that I was expecting.

“I told the players before the game that I felt let down by them last week by their performance – not by their mistakes, but by the lack of attitude and commitment, which is something I wouldn't accept from any team I was involved with.

“But I'm first to put my hand up and say I'm very proud of them.”

Not all of them were given the chance for redemption though.

Young’s team against Irish showed eight changes from the previous weekend, with injury only part of the reason.

Wasps’ first win in four could be seen as vindication for Young.

He said: “The nature of our performance last week was unacceptable. When things are not working you have to change them otherwise you just get what you have always had.

“The last three weeks we’ve given guys on the fringes opportunities and I don’t think many have actually put their hands up and challenged for selection.

“Realistically, there weren’t any massive headache selections for this week and the boys went out and showed they were worthy of their selection.

“Obviously the boys that didn’t play have to put their hands up and get back into that team. “But it’s never about me. It’s all about winning and getting the right performance.”

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