Wasps director of rugby Dai Young challenged his players during the week to provide a response and they certainly did that at the Rec on Saturday in downing Bath Rugby.
Kurtley Beale bagged a brace while Christian Wade also dotted down as the table toppers moved five points clear in the Aviva Premiership Rugby standings with an impressive win.
The 24-3 victory means Wasps have ended the four-game block of league games with three wins and a defeat.
And after winning at the Rec for the third time in a row – the first time they have managed that in the professional era – Young could not hide his delight.
“We were in control today in most areas, so I’m really pleased,” Young said. “We’ve had a bit of a sticky spell, and haven’t really hit our straps in the four games in this block.
“We did well to get a draw at Exeter Chiefs which can’t be scoffed at, but then were taught a lesson at Sale. We bounced back last week, which made this week hugely important, as had we hadn’t got the result it would have defined this block. I asked the players before the game to really go out and show how much it means to us, and I thought they did us proud.
“There are a lot of things still to work on as we left a few points out there and the scrum wasn’t as good as it’s been over the last couple of weeks, but I certainly would have settled for that result before the game.
— Wasps (@WaspsRugby) March 4, 2017
“I was really pleased with our game-management, as we controlled things and made a lot of good decisions. We kicked really well when it wasn’t on to play, but when it was on we played.
“I challenged the players before the game, because we knew Bath would be physical in the forwards, and we would have to stand up and be counted there, and we did.”
Bath meanwhile stay fourth in the standings but missed a chance to stretch the gap to the chasing pack that includes Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints.
The unity and fight for each other today was exceptional! All individual needs and egos put aside! Team work… 🙌🏾 @WaspsRugby 🐝
— Danny Cipriani (@DannyCipriani87) March 4, 2017
And after defeat last week to Bristol Rugby, Todd Blackadder admits his side were well beaten by the better side.
“Overall, we didn’t show any teeth, particularly in the first half,” he said. “We were far too passive and waited for Wasps to attack us. They just showed what a good side they are when they get a roll on and get momentum. We were on the back foot the whole game.
“Then we probably tried too hard. We kicked the ball back to them and they kept attacking us.
“We looked tired out there, just hanging on. We need this chance to regroup, we’re a far better team than we showed out there – we’ll get our internationals back and attack the last quarter of this competition.”
BATH: Homer (Phillips 67); Rokoduguni, Clark, Tapuai, Watson; Hastings, Cook (Cook 75); Catt (Obano 60), R Batty (van Vuuren70; Batty 72), Lahiff (Palma-Newport 60), Charteris (Stooke 58), Ewels, Ellis, Denton (Mercer 58), Faletau
WASPS: Beale; Wade, Leiua (Armitage 72), Gopperth, Le Roux; Cipriani, Simpson (Robson 58); Mullan (McIntyre 50), Taylor (Festuccia 54), Cooper-Woolley; (Moore 50), Symons, Gaskell (Rowlands 39); Johnson, Young (Willis, 73), Rieder
Tries: Wade, Beale 2
Conversions: Gopperth 3
Referee: J P Doyle