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Match Reaction: Newcastle Falcons 20 Wasps 34

After watching his side keep up their impressive form with victory at Newcastle Falcons, Wasps director of rugby Dai Young turned his attentions towards pushing for a top-two finish to this year’s Aviva Premiership Rugby season.

Wasps extended their recent run to just one defeat in their last ten matches in all competitions with a 34-20 win at Kingston Park on Sunday afternoon.

Dan Robson and Thomas Young both helped themselves to two tries each while George Smith also dotted down in the first half.

And while scores from Taione Vea and George McGuigan kept things interesting, Young’s second try of the match confirmed a useful victory for Wasps who move onto 58 points, one place off second-placed Exeter Chiefs.

And with four rounds to go, the Wasps director of rugby was intent on keeping up the momentum in pursuit of a home semi-final.

“The main thing for us this year was to reach the top six. We’re as good as there now – we’d have to have a bit of a disaster for that not to happen,” he said.

“Top four is over-reaching where a lot of people thought we would be at the start of the year, but if we keep on winning we could really push for a home semi-final in the last couple of games.

“But I’m certainly not getting above myself. Top four is still a battle and the next game will have a big bearing on it.

“This season is relentless with one big match after another, and certainly next week against Saints is a huge game.

“You’ve got to give Newcastle a lot of credit as well, as they put us under a lot of pressure at times.

“We weren’t quite as clinical as we would liked to have been, and missed a couple of clear opportunities, but overall I’m pleased with the major areas and we did well today.”

Falcons came into the match off the back of four successive Aviva Premiership defeats but refused to roll over despite Wasps hitting them with quick-fire double tries both before and after the break.

McGuigan’s converted try took them back to within seven points off their opponents with former Wasp Andy Goode – on his final Falcons appearance before retiring – introduced from the bench with ten minutes to go.

He was unable to inspire his team to a comeback victory, or at least a losing bonus point, although he was quick to thank the Newcastle fans for all their support.

"I've enjoyed every minute of it,” he said.

"I suppose I'll wake up tomorrow and realise it's the end of my rugby career and I'd like to thank the Newcastle fans, they have been great."

Newcastle Falcons: Hammersley; Tait (Sinoti, 58), Harris, Powell (Agulla 58), Watson; Delany (Goode 70), Young (Takulua 5); Vickers (Rogers 64), McGuigan, Vea (Cusack 64), Green, Robinson (Hogg 59), Wilson, Welch, Latu.
Replacements: Lawson
 
Wasps: Miller; Wade, Daly, S Piutau, Bassett; Gopperth, Robson (Hampson 61); Mullan (Bristow 61), Johnson (Festuccia 56), Cooper-Woolley (Swainston 64), Launchbury, Myall (Cannon, 56), Young, Smith, Jones (Hughes 38)
Replacements:  Jackson, Macken.
 
Newcastle Falcons
Tries: Vea, McGuigan,
Conversions: Delany 2
Penalties: Delany 2
 
Wasps
Tries: Smith, Robson 2, Young 2
Conversions: Gopperth 3
Penalties: Gopperth
 
Referee: JP Doyle.
Attendance: 6,725

If you want to be at the world's biggest club rugby final, this year's Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on 28 May, tickets are still available from premiershiprugby.com/final.
 

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