Emerging Wasps not yet ready to take final step

Tom Varndell just fails to take Andy Goode's cross chip.

Tom Varndell just fails to take Andy Goode's cross chip.

First published in Sport by

WASPS had the chance of reaching a major final for the first time since 2008 and blew it.

That is the view of director of rugby Dai Young, who blames poor defending for their 24-18 Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final defeat to Bath.

Former Wasp Rob Webber twice went over from line-outs on Wasps’ 5m line, and Young believes his own players were at least partly culpable.

He said: “We talked about not giving them field position because we know how important their driving line-out is.

“But we gave them three or four opportunities five metres from our line and they’re always going to be difficult to stop there.

“The frustration is not so much them scoring from a driving line-out, but how they ended up there.

“We had bags of opportunities to clear our lines, but we tried to play from deep and gave away a penalty. We played right into their hands.”

Avoiding those costly mistakes was one of of Wasps’ key objectives before the game.

Young said: “Coming into the game we said if Bath were going to win let's make them do something special, let's make them earn every point.

“In fairness they played well, but we didn't achieve one of our big goals, which was to make sure we didn't give them cheap points.

“We worked our socks off to get our points. To turn pressure into points is never easy and we always seem to do it the hard way.

“But we seem to give points away cheaply through lapses of communication or accuracy or focus. We give too many cheap points away and against a quality team like Bath, they are always going to hurt you.

“Maybe it’s part of the development of the team but it’s frustrating.

“You can see we’re improving and perhaps that’s the last step because for big parts of that game we were in it, causing them lots of problems.

“The game got away from us a little bit but we showed plenty of character and commitment to get ourselves back in it and with five or six minutes to go it was all us.

“We weren’t a million miles from it and Bath are flying in third and are a really good team.

“But in the latter stages of competitions you’ve got to be accurate and you can’t give easy points away because teams are good enough to score their own points without you gifting them to them.”

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