Dai Young believes Wasps’ Aviva Premiership Rugby win against Gloucester Rugby can spark a fresh wave of momentum after they established a six-point lead at the top of the table.
A superb hat-trick from centre Jimmy Gopperth, who finished with 25 points, was the catalyst for their 12th win in the league this season – while there were further scores for Willie Le Roux, his first for the club, and Christian Wade.
And, after two games without a win following a defeat to Sale Sharks and draw with Exeter Chiefs, Young hailed his side’s response against an in-form Gloucester side.
“The last couple of weeks has rocked us a little bit, and how we responded to that bump in the road was always going to be a measure of where we are as a team,” the director of rugby said.
“We felt a bit of pressure, and nerves and anxiety, which crept into our game a bit early on, but hopefully this win gets us back with a bit more belief and a smile on our face.
— Josh Bassett (@_JoshBassett) February 26, 2017
“We scored in the dying seconds so it was really a one-score game, although I never felt we were going to lose it, and always thought we had a bit spare.
“Gloucester are a good team who have shown improvements in the last couple of weeks, so it was a good result for us, as while we weren’t outstanding we found a way to win and put ourselves in a good position moving forward to next week.”
Gloucester were within touching distance throughout as tries from James Hook, David Halaifonua and Matt Scott kept Wasps honest.
And, although it was a far better away display than their last road game at Leicester Tigers, director of rugby David Humphreys admits it was a missed opportunity.
— Gloucester Rugby (@gloucesterrugby) February 26, 2017
“We came off our last away game against Leicester with a huge sense of anger and frustration that we were terrible – it was our worst performance of the season,” he said.
“It’s more a feeling of disappointment, as we gave ourselves an opportunity to put the best team in the competition under pressure.
“We created a number of clear opportunities in the first half having dominated territory, which we didn’t take, and when you look back over the game that cost us, as besides the maul tries, Wasps had two or three opportunities and they took them.”
Wasps: Beale, Wade, Gopperth, Eastmond (Leiua 17), Le Roux (Bassett 54), Cipriani, Simpson (Robson 71), Mullan (McIntyre 60), Taylor (Festuccia 70), Cooper-Woolley (Moore 60), Symons, Gaskell (Rowlands 67), Johnson, Young (Willis 75), Rieder.
Gloucester: Marshall, Sharples, Scott, Twelvetrees, Halaifonua, Hook (Trinder 59), Heinz (Braley 65), Hohneck (Orr 59), Hibbard (Matu’u 61), Doran-Jones (Afoa,50), Savage (Galarza 59), Thrush, Ludlow (Kalamafoni 59), Rowan, Morgan
Tries: Gopperth (3), Le Roux, Wade
Conversions: Gopperth (2)
Penalties: Gopperth (2)
Tries: Hook, Halaifonua, Scott
Conversions: Twelvetrees (2)
Referee: Andrew Jackson