Joy may have turned to heartbreak in the blink of an eye for Wasps at the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s final, but Elliot Daly insists the experience will still serve them well ahead of the new season.
It was Newport Gwent Dragons who triumphed at Twickenham Stoop, thanks to a last-gasp Harry Keddie try in the corner to take the score to 17-14 with the final play of the game.
The star-studded Wasps line-up looked imperious going into the final clash, having eased through the group stages of the competition before beating Exeter Chiefs and Scarlets in the opening rounds of the final showcase.
That set up their final berth with Newport, but the Dragons hadn't read the script and Daly admits the ending to their nail-biting clash was gut-wrenching.
“Obviously we are all really disappointed after that, but credit where it’s due to Dragons as they came out and played really good rugby and were a good outfit,” said Daly, who grabbed a try in Wasps opening win over Exeter.
“We really wanted to win this competition, and while we didn’t quite go all the way we did get to the final and we’ve got some good rugby under our belts ahead of the season.
“We had a very tough start against Exeter as they really came out firing, and fortunately second half we got a few tries which was awesome.
“Then we had the welsh sides and Scarlets were a good side too, as obviously were Newport.
“To lose it so late is definitely hard to take. In 7s you need to keep the ball for as long as possible as you will score tries and probably win the game, and unfortunately during that last three minutes we didn’t have the ball, or even touch it.
“They’re always going to score in a situation like that, and it’s unfortunate for us but we’ll learn from it. It was an amazing tournament though; the crowds were great and there were a lot of spectacular tries. Hopefully we can go on and win it next year.”
Wasps had gone hell for leather to claim the 2015-16 Singha Premiership Rugby 7s title, with the side including the likes of Daly, Christian Wade, Dan Robson and Joe Simpson.
But with an exciting few weeks in store ahead of the new Aviva Premiership Rugby season, including a preseason clash with Samoa as part of their World Cup warm-up campaign, Daly is confident Wasps are in fine shape to improve on last season’s showing in the league.
He said: “The 7s is always a different kind of thing to the 15s; it gives you a whole different focus in preseason and improves your fitness too so it’s been a good experience.
“This kind of rugby gives you the core skills that you need to excel. You have to be good on your tackling, passing, one-on-ones, and it eases you into the season.
"We've got a tough test against Samoa this Saturday, so we are no looking forward to that, and then looking at the rest of the season we're just looking at building on last year and doing better.”
Cup Quarter-Final: Newport Gwent Dragons 26 Sale Sharks 10
Cup Quarter-Final: Gloucester Rugby 31 Harlequins 26
Cup Quarter-Final: Wasps 33 Exeter Chiefs 5
Cup Quarter-Final: Newcastle Falcons 26 Scarlets 31
Plate Semi-Final: Sale Sharks 45 Harlequins 24
Cup Semi-Final: Newport Gwent Dragons 19 Gloucester Rugby 14
Plate Semi-Final: Exeter Chiefs 14 Newcastle Falcons 12
Cup Semi-Final: Scarlets 12 Wasps 33
Plate Final: Sale Sharks 19 Chiefs 26
Cup Final: Newport Gwent Dragons 17 Wasps 12