NEVER mind all this win together, lose together stuff – for Matt Mullan and his front row partners at Wasps, Sunday’s semi-final is personal.
Mullan was part of a home pack that was folded up and neatly put away by Bath the last time they came to Adams Park.
That was a 28-5 humiliation in the Premiership in late November when Bath’s big guns gave Wasps an almighty shove back down the hill they’d been climbing.
Mullan said: “We’d started the season quite well and were playing well until that point but we really let ourselves down in that game.
“Maybe we got our preparations wrong, but for the boys that played it will be fresh in their minds because you don’t want to make the same mistakes again.
“The performance away to Bath was better so we can take a bit of joy from that, it shows we can learn and adapt, but we’ve got to rectify what happened at Adams Park.”
And Mullan admits he feels the Wycombe walloping particularly sharply as he fought in the skirmish that settled the war.
He said: “Even though we’re all in it together, if the scrum is struggling the first place everybody looks – within the team and outside the team – is the front row.
“You’ve got to take the scrum personally. I’ve learned you only get picked on how you can scrum. Anything else is a bonus.
“But against Bath we struggled as a pack, and particularly in the scrum.”
Mullan has another reason for wanting to exact revenge on Bath.
In 2008 he was part of the Worcester team that lost to Bath in the Amlin Challenge Cup Final.
That remains the biggest game of Mullan’s club career, but the England prop is hoping for more big occasions.
He said: “I’ve not had tons of knockout rugby and that’s one of the reasons I joined Wasps – to get back on the big stage.
“I’m excited and the group is excited, but as a group we’re pretty good at keeping our heads. We’ve not really spoken about how big certain games are.
“Going into the game last weekend, you do know what the table looks like and what the consequences could have been if we’d have lost, but Dai [Young] doesn’t sit in front of saying, ‘you have to beat Gloucester and finish seventh or else’.
“We just want to sort out of our performance because if we’re playing well we know we’re at least competitive.”