Match reaction - Dai post Exeter

Director of Rugby Dai Young gives his reaction to the 25-20 win against Exeter Chiefs in the opening game of the season at the Ricoh Arena.

Despite a disappointing first half, Young was delighted to get a win against a very good Exeter side, in the first game of the season, and was happy with the way the players turned it around in the second half in a typically nail-biting finish.

" Well, we certainly kept everyone in the stadium until the final whistle again didn't we?" he joked. "We've got to be pleased that we found a way to get our game going and got ourselves back into the game. Everything we talked about before the game, we didn't do in the first half. We talked about having a big start, not giving away penalties and not letting them have a platform inside our 22 and within five minutes we had committed all of those sins. But in fairness, everything we talked about at halftime the players went out and delivered, so I'm pretty pleased with that. 

"At this stage of the season you'd settle for a win against a top team, they are certainly going to be there as a top four team in my mind. It's up to us to keep it going and hopefully we can challenge them at the end of the season again. I know it's a cliche, but it certainly was a game of two halves. First half I was disappointed with our work rate. We weren't getting in position quick enough to take the game to Exeter, which resulted in us kicking the ball away too many times, but when you analyse it there was very little else we could have done but kick. 

"That's not the way we want to play, so at half time we talked about working harder, getting into position earlier, winning the gain line battle and getting collision dominance. That would allow us to get some front foot quick ball and if we get quick ball we know we're a threat. That's pretty much what happened in the second half, we lacked a bit of accuracy, but if you look at the weekend as a whole I think there were mistakes in every game, because it was the first game up." 

Young was particularly happy with the impact the bench made on the game. 

"We found a way to win so I was pleased with the second half and the impact that the subs made on the game. I thought that was critical and that is why it's a squad game. When you put boys on the bench and tell them it's a 23 man game, they don't always believe it, but I think today was another clear indication of how important your bench can be. 

Asked on how he thought Danny Cipriani and Jimmy Gopperth managed in midfield Dai said:

"If you look at the way we have recruited, we want to play with that second distributor at 12. Jimmy is best equipped to do that at this moment in time with the injuries that we've got. Danny was frustrated at half time, because he didn't really have any option but to kick it, which meant we kicked it a bit too much. For his first hit up in the Wasps jersey again, I think he can be pretty pleased with how it went." 

It was a squad effort though and Young was pleased with some of the performances of the new faces in the squad as well as the regulars today. 

"I thought Elliot Daly was really good today and Joe Launchbury did a hell of a lot of the donkey work. He did a lot of tackling, clearing out rucks and carried really strongly, as well as a couple of charge downs. Tommy Taylor for me had the pick of the debuts, but I think when Matt Symons and Marty Moore came on they did really well on their debuts as well.

"Our Wasps fans were fantastic again today, really getting behind us when the squad were behind, so a big thank you to them too."