Historically speaking, the fourth round of the Champion Cup is a test of a team’s character and mental fortitude as much as it is of their ability to play rugby, and this was certainly the case for the Wasps as they looked to drive away the daemons inflicted on them by La Rochelle seven days ago. The knockout stages don’t begin officially until April, but, for the Wasps, this was just that, knockout rugby, in absolutely everything but name!

Staying in the Competition Saw the Wasps Digging Deep

 As punters who enjoy the sports betting NZ has to offer will recall, the 49 – 29 humbling that they Wasps saw in France last weekend made a big impact on the team. They have had to dig deep in order to stay in the running for the European competition, as last Sunday saw them kicked from pillar to post, although they did manage to score four tries, albeit on limited territory and possession.

That was the key on a cold afternoon in December at the Ricoh Arena, with the finalists for the Aviva Premiership of last season 100% aware that if they could turn this territory and possession in their favour they would be able to hurt the French with their dynamic back division. Elliot Daly was the main beneficiary of the Wasps’ improved forward effort, and the player managed to cross twice.

Young Pleased but Frustrated

 This very important victory pleased Dai Young, but the director of rugby for the Wasps is also frustrated at his squad’s performance and their inability to turn pressure into points during the game’s first half.

He said that the team was excellent defensively, standing strong and being pretty good set-piece wise, and he said that they caused the French a host of problems in terms of attack. He added, however, that, coming away from the game, he was disappointed in the squad’s performance in the first half, and that hopefully that would be rectified before they headed out onto the field again.

The Goal is Scoring Earlier

 Young added that he would have preferred it if the Wasps had managed to score a little earlier than they did, but that he felt that they had stood up and physically matched their opponents well. He explained that before going around a team one had to go through them a bit, and that the Wasps managing to gain line on both sides of the ball was what allowed them to play with a little more freedom.

Young then calmed fears over the wing, after Daly had to leave the field with his ankle heavily strapped up. He stated that Daly was walking, not carried off on a stretcher or anything, and that, judging by this reaction, it did not seem likely that the injury was a very serious one. He did say, however, that up to 48 hours was required to determine the severity of these kinds of injuries.