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Young and Simpson preview Gloucester Rugby v Wasps

Young and Simpson preview Gloucester Rugby v Wasps

Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young and scrum half Joe Simpson preview the Christmas clash between Gloucester Rugby and Wasps on Sunday, in Round 11 of the Aviva Premiership. (KO 1430)

Speaking on the back of bonus points wins against Castres, and against London Irish in front of a record crowd at the Ricoh Arena last Sunday, Young is confident Wasps are moving in the right direction on and off the field.

"Having 28,000 supporters there, all looking like they enjoyed themselves, you can't really fail to enjoy the occasion, it was fantastic really.

"It was a fantastic stadium, the players were over the moon with the facilities and everything, and to see so many people waving Wasps flags and making so much noise, it was fantastic.

"Hopefully the supporters enjoyed the second half performance.

"I'm sure there were one or two teething problems behind the scenes for the first game; on the pitch we weren't perfect, but we'd certainly settle for the result.

"We were very edgy in the first half, but after the break we simplified things a little bit, got a bit more direct, got our physicality and carrying going, a bit more confrontation and we started to heap the pressure on and we came away with the points.

"The icing on the cake was very much the bonus point try at the end really."

However, Young is cautious not to get carried away by last Sunday's historic day, and has his sights firmly set on the imminent challenge of Gloucester this Sunday.

"They are going to be hurting because they lost their last home game.

"I see a real hungry Gloucester team playing in front of a packed house again in a great place to play and a fantastic atmosphere.

"They don't lose on a regular basis there, so we know we've got to back up last week.

"And we still need that 80 minute performance, because quite frankly last weekend it was only a 40-minute performance.

"It was a bit messy for 40, then outstanding for 40. So we really need that 80-minute performance down there.”

Young is aware threats will be coming at Wasps from all directions:

"They've got a decent pack with a very good set-piece, then they've got bags of pace behind.

"They are as dangerous as anybody in broken play so they like to play wide, and we expect them to play with a lot of width.”

Young also appreciates the significance of the next month:

"We've wrapped this period up as a big phase really, with the games over Christmas and the two European games.

"We know this period will shape our season moving forward, and we've just got to try to put up as many victories in the league as possible.

"Certainly going into the last six weeks of the season we want to be in the position when it's in our hands. You don't want to be relying on other people and other results.

"We're roughly where we want to be at this point lying sixth in the table, but it's very, very tight.

"Two wins and you can be knocking on the top four, but two defeats and you can be staring at the trap door.

"We're in a good position at the minute, so we've just got to keep moving things forward.

Scrum half Joe Simpson, who scored Wasps first try at the Ricoh Arena in the new era, knows Wasps need to produce the same form on the road as they have at home in recent months:

"Our away form has been the thing that has let us down in the past. So this Gloucester match is a chance for us to change that. If we want to finish higher than them in the table and if we've got any hopes or ambitions of being in the top of half of the table and competing for silverware at the end of the season, this is a match up we need to win.

"We know it's not going to be easy, Gloucester are very good around the contact area and around the pitch, but we need to dog it out. It doesn't have to be fancy, it doesn't have to be high scoring, but it has to be a victory for us.”

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