Hanks hails defensive dispaly
December 3, 2010
Steve Kefu wrestles for the ball during Wasps' victory over Exeter © PA Photos
Wasps director of rugby Tony Hanks hailed an excellent defensive effort from his side as they recorded a fourth-straight Aviva Premiership win by beating Exeter 24-12 at Adams Park.
Fly-half Dave Walder kicked four penalties and a conversion for the hosts, with prop Ben Broster and wing David Lemi going over for tries either side of half-time to effectively seal the win as the Londoners climb to fifth in the table.
Ryan Davis kicked four penalties for the Chiefs but it was not enough to see them extend an unbeaten run of five matches in all competitions.
Although his side scored the only tries of the game, former Waikato boss Hanks felt his team's defensive qualities had been the difference, after Exeter dominated possession and territory in the second half.
Hanks said: "For the second week in a row it was a splendid defensive effort we have got back to the standards that we expect. At half-time we commented that we hadn't defended much but we were conscious that we had to be ready.
"I was disappointed that we didn't have more possession in the second half but we did score two good tries. We gave away a couple of soft penalties as we were over anxious by coming in to the rucks from the sides."
Wasps' last Premiership defeat was their 37-10 humbling against Northampton, and Hanks admitted a lot of soul-searching had gone on after that loss.
"Following the Northampton defeat we stripped everything down and we have worked hard to put things right," he said. "It's difficult when we have got a number of injuries and I have to mention Simon Shaw and Joe Worsley who have done it all to keep up their standards every week."
Rob Baxter, the Exeter coach, felt his side were unfortunate not to at least pick up a losing bonus point from proceedings.
"We worked very hard today and ultimately we should have got something out of the game," he said. "It is a very tough place to come but with the amount of possession and territory we had in the second half we should have rammed home a try and come away with at least a losing bonus point. Up until the final moments of the game we were still playing for something.
"The long and short of it is that we were under pressure in the first half and made too many uncharacteristic errors. We spilled a number of restarts but we are learning all the time."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
As Scotland decides its future, Scrum Sevens looks at a group of players who transcended rugby both for country and the British & Irish Lions
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup