Matt Symons admits he has never experienced anything like the ferocity of a baying Toulouse crowd, but after Wasps left the Stade Ernest Wallon with a draw the lock is determined to carry that form back into Aviva Premiership Rugby.
Under the cosh heading into the break away to the French giants, Wasps withstood a succession of scrums on their own line before eventually holding Toulouse up over the line to go into the break level.
Four tries later –including a last-gasp Nathan Hughes effort – and still the teams could not be split, and having been pushed to their limits Symons believes Wasps are ready for their next test, with an in-form Newcastle Falcons side up next in Aviva Premiership Rugby.
“Toulouse was really special,” he said.
“The last fortnight was my first experience of the Champions Cup and when you had the crowd howling at half-time, they were baying for blood.
“We were pretty bruised afterwards but it was great to get a draw. I’d gone off by the time we scored the try and I couldn’t watch the conversion.
“But even looking away, you knew immediately from the sound of the crowd. He’s a phenomenal kicker.
“It was a real test, and it sets us up nicely for Newcastle. They are playing really well and will be tough to beat.”
The Falcons enjoyed a fine outing of their own on Sunday against French opposition, putting Grenoble to the sword 50-7.
Symons had his own personal battle with Dean Richards’ men last year, as his London Irish side battled for survival with the men from Kingston Park.
It was of course the Falcons who stayed up, and Symons certainly will not be resting on any laurels when they come to the Ricoh Arena as a result.
He added: “You can’t afford to underestimate them, and they’ve made a really good start to the season.
“Newcastle are really strong up front and have a good set-piece. The game against Toulouse was probably good preparation in that regard.
“We know that we will have to be at our best if we want to get a win.”
— Wasps (@WaspsRugby) October 27, 2016