Wasps director of rugby Dai Young admits his side owed their 23-23 draw against Newcastle Falcons to some magic play by centre Elliot Daly.
Daly was the architect of much of Wasps’ best moments, highlighted brilliantly by his assist and try in the space of two first-half minutes which turned the game in his side’s favour.
But the Falcons, who had won just once in their last six Aviva Premiership Rugby games, fought back and could have won it themselves after Juan Socino’s second-half score.
But Young’s troops are desperate for points at the top end of the table, and Guy Thompson’s late try, after another Daly assist, and Andy Goode’s conversion ensured the spoils were shared at Kingston Park.
“We know we can score tries, and we’ve shown that throughout this season, but it was about individual magic tonight,” said Young, whose side remained fourth overnight but having played a game more than their top-four rivals.
“But they happen once or twice a game – if you’re lucky. You have to build momentum and pressure and earn tries, and tonight we had a bit of magic but didn’t earn the right to score more.
“We’re very frustrated at the way we played. Take nothing away from Newcastle because this is always going to be a difficult place to come on Friday night, and they played some good stuff on occasions, but we made it difficult for ourselves.
“We were incapable of keeping hold of the ball, but when we did keep hold of the ball we caused them problems.
“We knew we had to be at our best, we weren’t at our best so we are pleased to come away with a draw, we have to be happy with that.”
Newcastle had taken the lead through Alex Tait early on but two quick-fire tries, from Rob Miller and the impressive Daly, allowed Wasps to go into half-time with a 13-11 lead.
Josh Furno replied for the Falcons early on in the second half and Socino’s try with just 17 minutes to go looked like giving Newcastle a much-needed win after last weekend’s 46-17 defeat at Exeter Chiefs.
However, Daly again dazzled and fed replacement Thompson, much to the annoyance of Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards.
“We’re a little bit disappointed, the lads came in frustrated afterwards because we conceded three easy tries, and obviously if we hadn’t have done that we would have won the game,” Richards said.
“The boys played well, we had to earn our tries but I’m frustrated more than anything.
“We had to play better than last week, we couldn’t have turned in a performance as bad, and to be fair to the boys they were embarrassed by it and knew they had to put on a show this week.
“We have got to tweak a few things, our kicking game in the first half cost us a little bit, and we just let in a couple of soft tries which we shouldn’t be doing.
“But there was a lot of stuff that was really good, if we can keep that intensity of the first ten minutes up for longer I’ll be quite happy.”
Newcastle Falcons: Hammersley (Tiesi, 45); Sinoti, Powell, Socino, Tait; Catterick, Blair; Vickers, Hawkins (McGuigan, 56), Brookes (Wilson S, 53), Furno, Barrow (Thompson K, 59), Wilson M, Welch, Hogg (Mayhew, 33)
Not used: Orlandi, Tipuna, Clegg,
Wasps: Miller (Masi, 65 (Lozowski, 74)); Wade, Daly, Downey, Tagicakibau; Goode, Simpson (Bliss, 68); Mullan (Yapp, 74), Festuccia (Shervington, 53), Cooper-Woolley (Cittadini, 58), Davies, Myall (Gaskell, 60), Johnson, Young (Thompson G, 53), Hughes.
Tries: Tait, Furno, Socino
Penalties: Catterick 2
Tries: Miller, Daly, Thompson
Penalties: Goode 2
Referee: JP Doyle
Get 20 per cent off a limited number of tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final 2015. Visit http://www.tickethour.co.uk/premierrugby/ to take advantage of this great offer.