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Wasps prepare to host Bath Rugby in European clash

Wasps prepare to host Bath Rugby in European clash

Wasps welcome Bath Rugby to the Ricoh Arena in the Champions Cup match on Saturday for what is a mouth-watering first all-Gallagher Premiership Rugby affair of the European season.

Both sides will be looking to record their maiden wins of the new campaign after defeats in round one have left both sides with work to do.

Wasps were comprehensively beaten 52-3 by Champions Cup holders Leinster, who ran in eight tries in the process.
The Coventry-based side will want to replicate their first-half performance against the Irish side, whilst forgetting the second.

They had displayed impressive last-ditch defence before the break before shipping six scores in the second period, an area that director of rugby Dai Young acknowledged they need to improve on.

“We fell away badly in the last 20 minutes, which was disappointing. Obviously the sin-binning hurt us, conceding just before half-time,” he said.

“It’s up to us now to sort it. I thought the intensity and physicality we showed at times was really good but you can’t do it for 60 minutes against the European champions, you’ve got to do it for the full game.”

Bath sit one place ahead of their domestic rivals in Pool One, picking up a losing bonus point in their 22-20 defeat to Toulouse at the Recreation Ground.

They came agonisingly close to the win, but for a Freddie Burns error, which saw him fail to ground the ball after crossing the try-line, a score that would have seen them take the lead with five minutes remaining.

And whilst they were left to lick their wounds, flanker Francois Louw said that they will have to be on top form next week against a Wasps team who will want to put things right.

“Generally, when a team takes a hit like that there’s only one way to respond, and that’s backs-against-the-wall – they’re going to come out firing,” he said.

“We’ll expect a big comeback from them but nonetheless from our side as well we want to lift our game every week that much more, so I’m sure it will be a good match-up.”

The sides have met twice before in Europe’s elite competition, with Wasps winning both of their pool fixtures on the way to the semi-final of the 2015/16 Champions Cup.

And both have impressive pedigree at this level: Wasps edge out their rivals with two Champions Cup triumphs to Bath’s one, whilst they have each won the Challenge Cup once.

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