Match Reaction – Dai Young Post Toulon

Following Wasps’ heart-breaking defeat to reigning champions Toulon, Dai Young couldn’t hide the disappointment he felt for his players, having succumbed to awinning try in the 80th minute.

Before that moment, Wasps were on course to become the first team to win on Toulon turf in the European Champions Cup in 21 attempts made by away teams.

“I’m absolutely gutted for the players,” he said. “That’s heart-breaking for them. I couldn’t have asked much more from the guys today. We talked before the game, saying let’s not go away from here with ifs, buts and maybes or any regrets. We said let’s give it our best shot and I couldn’t have asked much more.

“We were under pressure for large periods of the game, but we showed our resolve and we showed how much we mean to each other, fighting for each other.  With 80 minutes on the clock we had won that game and I really feel for the players involved.

“Perhaps we still had a little bit of stage fright in the first half, a bit like last season. We were a little bit too lateral at times in the first half, so we focussed on getting some go forward in the second half and really wanted to go at them and test them, and I think we did that as we grew into the game.

“We talked about making them doubt themselves and I think we achieved that for big parts of that game, it would just have been nice if we could’ve held on for another minute for a famous victory.”

Asked about the Man of the match performance by Guy Thompson, Young was fulsome in his praise. “Guy has been outstanding the last couple of weeks. We know he has that X factor in him. People often talk about players you are missing, but we know it’s about our squad. One team isn’t going to win things and move a club forwards, that’s why you have to build your squad. The players who have come in have proven they are first team players.

Young also wanted to make a special mention of the incredible travelling support for Wasps, “I’d like to say a big thank you to all the supporters who made the effort to travel over to support the boys, which we all really appreciated. The support we have receivedhere has been first class and it means a great deal to the squad. I’m just sorry we couldn’t quite get over the line and win that one for them today.

“We will pick each other up after this one, but for today I am proud of every single one of the players. We have still given ourselves an opportunity to advance out of the pool stages when not many people would have given us a chance when the pool draw first came out.

“It will be a massive game against Leinster at the Ricoh Arena next Saturday. Leinster are obviously a quality team, they are three times champions as well, so we know it will be tough. Beating them once is a big feat, twice would be a major step. It will be a huge challenge but we are confident we can hopefully finish the job next week.”