Match Reaction: Dai post Leicester

Director of Rugby Dai Young gives his reaction to the 34-22 win against Leicester Tigers at Welford Road. 

"Wins at Welford Road don't come round very often for any side, it's such a tough place to get a result, so you've got to enjoy earning a win like that," he said.

"We had a 20 minute spell in the second half where we lost our composure and made too many mistakes, with our discipline letting us down a little bit. You've got to give the Tigers credit for the way they came back again. We knew the game wasn't won - they showed last week against Gloucester exactly what they can do coming back to win a game. We found a way in the last ten minutes to kick on and I thought we handled the yellow card pretty well."

Despite getting the win, Young believes there is plenty of improvement still to be made. 

"The good thing for us is that we've come here and won and it wasn't a perfect performance, there's still lots to improve on. In years gone by, we would have had to play out of our skin to get a win here. So we are really pleased with that and we've still got things to work on."

Asked about how important he thought it was to get off to a good start, against two top-four teams from last season, Young said: 

"You go into every game thinking they are important to win, but you look at these first few games and straight away you could see you could come out of the first three or four games in a positive mood, or you could come out of them feeling under pressure a little bit.

"You've got to play every team at some point, so you can't worry about it too much. What it did do was focus our minds, because we knew we had to come out of the blocks fast. We couldn't take two or three games to get our game going. I'm just pleased to have got two good performances against two quality teams and that we can still get better really." 

Young was very happy with Wasps' maul defence particularly, as it was something the side had worked hard on in pre-season.

"We know Leicester are playing a more expansive style than in the past, but when things don't quite go their way they can also revert to something else that they are very good at. They did that last week and it got them back into the game. So it's something we talked about all week and it was something we put a lot of time into during pre season." 

Asked about the impressive shift by the back row, Young said: 

"I am really pleased with everyone today, obviously there is room for improvement, but I thought the whole squad did well and the back row were outstanding in that first half. I think we won the contact area and the good thing for me is that allows me to rotate the squad a little bit. 

"As I've said to the players, I've got to be brave enough to utilise the squad and it's a lot easier when the boys go out and put in a performance like they have today. 

"Every coach talks about a 23 man performance, but I think we've seen in two weeks now how important the whole squad is. 

"Ashley (Johnson), Nathan (Hughes) and James (Gaskell) all came on and did really well and that is exactly what I want to see. I want the boys to go out there an empty their tanks and then the boys to come off the bench and kick it to another level." 

 Asked about the impact of try scorer Guy Thompson Young said: 

"I think Guy has done really well in pre-season and now in the two regular season games he has been really prominent. Last season when he did play, he played well. I think Toulon away was his last game at number eight and he was man of the match in that game. I think everyone recognises his quality as a ball carrier, but he has added a little bit of physicality and power to his game. He isn't afraid to do the hard work as well, making big tackles and hitting rucks, so from my point of view it is just great to see these boys responding and improving." 

Asked about the form of Jimmy Gopperth playing at 12, Young said: 

"Jimmy has responded really well to playing at 12, he’s acted as a foil for Danny and taken a bit of pressure off Danny with the kicking duties. He told me he missed those two penalties on purpose so he could leave it to his driving lineout try! We want a second ball playing 12 to play an expansive game. Some of our new signings like Kurtley and Kyle are injured and Alapati isn't quite back yet, so Jimmy is best suited to that role and I'm really pleased with how he's stepped up. You have two decision makers with him and Danny and they are working well together. I thought Danny's decision making and his kicking out of hand was really good today and I think they are both helping each other."

Next, Young was asked about Simon McIntyre's development in the front row: 

"Simon's a very good player who's played a lot of rugby now, he’s played over 100 games for Wasps already and the easiest way to show his development is that he is putting pressure on Matt (Mullan). As we know, Matt is second or third in line in England at the moment, so that's the mark of the high standard of both of them. That’s the quality that Simon is currently showing week after week. Today it was a case of rotation with him and Matt and again it's about using the talent of our squad.

"It was good to see Jake Cooper-Woolley come back and I thought Marty Moore and Matt Symons put in good performances on their first starts for Wasps. There wasn't a bad performance, I'm proud of the whole squad today and the travelling Wasps fans were also really vocal getting behind the players."