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Wasps v London Irish, Aviva Premiership
Young thrilled with battling Wasps
March 3, 2012
Wasps coach Dai Young watches on, Worcester Warriors v London Wasps, Anglo-Welsh Cup, Sixways, Worcester, England, October 15, 2011
Wasps boss Dai Young was pleased with his side's determination © Getty Images
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Tournaments/Tours: Aviva Premiership

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young paid tribute to his players after they overcame the loss of England scrum-half Joe Simpson to end their nine-match losing run in the Aviva Premiership.

The 18-13 derby victory over London Irish put Wasps eight points clear of Newcastle, who had cut the gap at the bottom to four points with their 9-9 home draw against leaders Harlequins less than 24 hours earlier.

A dominant Wasps scrum forced two late penalties, landed by fly-half Nicky Robinson, after the Exiles had pounced through winger Sailosi Tagicakibau.

"A lot of teams would have cracked at that stage. I was really proud how we got back to basics," Young said. "We turned the screw in the scrum and found the way to win. In difficult circumstances the players realised how important this result was, if we had lost it would have been 10 on the trot.

"It was so important to get that result and hopefully we can build on it now. This has been a difficult couple of months. We are certainly nowhere out of the woods yet because Newcastle are a good team and they are going to win some of their games so we've got to keep winning. It's in our own hands."

Young also praised the Wasps supporters, adding: "The boys have worked hard and the crowd was outstanding. I've been really encouraged how supportive the crowd have been during a difficult time. Every time we came under pressure and looked like we were tiring they got behind us."

Simpson, England's third-choice scrum-half, dislocated his left shoulder and Young, who has lost a full team to the injured list this season, said: "It doesn't look too good. He'll have a scan and, knowing our luck, it just won't be a week out."

Irish have now won only one of their last eight matches in all competitions and head coach Toby Booth could not contain his disappointment.

"I'm terribly disappointed for our fans who have come to watch," he said. "Wasps played with the desperation you would expect and were good for the win. They managed the game and the contact area better than we did and they got the upper hand in the set pieces as well.

"It came down to our management of the game in key areas of the pitch and we didn't manage it that well at all. We cannot sit here and lick our wounds. We've got a bit of time with the LV= Cup and have a big St Patrick's Day game coming up against Leicester at home, but it isn't going to be easy."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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