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Match reaction: Wasps 28 Northampton Saints 6

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Wasps were not at their best, admitted director of rugby Dai Young, during their crucial Aviva Premiership Rugby win over Northampton Saints at the Ricoh Arena.

Young’s side ran out 28-6 winners thanks to a brace of tries from Rob Miller and a first for the club from replacement fly-half Jamie Stevenson.

Despite the margin of victory and restricting Saints to just two Stephen Myler penalties, Young knows there are things to improve before his side take on Exeter Chiefs in next weekend’s Champion’s Cup quarter-final.

"It was quite a strange atmosphere in the dressing room," he told the club website.

"Obviously there were a lot of smiles because we won, but we certainly weren't going over the top.
“I think everyone knows were weren't at our best, so it was slightly tinged with disappointment in the way that we played.

“I said to the boys that I thought we were really edgy, we were forcing things and dropping a lot of balls. It didn't help the lineout was shaky because that could have given us a bit more of a platform.

“We forced things when we didn't need to. We need to have more confidence in our attack, to go through that extra phase if we have to and not throw silly passes, to make sure we retain the ball.

“We know teams are going to come at us at the contact area and slow us down, so we've got to be more efficient.”

Young removed hooker Ashley Johnson after ten minutes of the second half, replacing him with Carlo Festuccia after a series of wayward throws.

Despite stealing several lineouts Saints could not turn possession into points and director of rugby Jim Mallinder was left to rue a missed opportunity as his side slipped out of the semi-final spots.

Mallinder also lost Lee Dickson and Kieran Brookes to head injuries during the game but said England captain Dylan Hartley is making progress in his return from injury.

Dickson was hurt in a scramble with Elliot Daly and Brookes went down after a collision with Johnson's knee when making a tackle.

He said: “Lee and Kieran are up and about. We will have to go through the protocols and hopefully they won't have any symptoms.

"I can't remember a period when we have had so many concussions, but I guess that is what happens. We will have to battle on.

"Dylan is getting better. We are not sure when he will return, but hopefully we will get him doing some exercise this week."

 

Wasps

Miller; Wade, Daly, S Piutau, Halai; Gopperth, Hampson (Stevenson 65); Mullan (McIntyre 63), Johnson (Festuccia 49), Cooper-Woolley (Cittadini 65), Launchbury, Davies (Myall 60), Young (Haskell 55), Smith, Hughes.

Northampton Saints

Foden; K Pisi, G Pisi, Mallinder, North, Myler (Hanrahan 70), Fotuali'i (Dickson 53, Collins 61)); Waller (Ma'afu 67), Haywood (Marshall 67), Brookes (Hill 18), Lawes, Day (Craig 60), Wood, Harrison, Dickinson (Fisher 41).

Scorers

Wasps
Tries: Miller 2, Stevenson
Conversions: Gopperth 2
Penalties: Daly 2, Gopperth

Northampton Saints
Penalties: Myler 2

Referee: Luke Pearce

Attendance: 17,422

Watch England's finest at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham on 28 May from only £30 for adults & £15 for children. Click here for tickets

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