Saracens 15-20 London Wasps, Aviva Premiership, September 3
Young delighted by Wasps win
September 3, 2011
Wasps boss Dai Young talks to ESPN
London Wasps director of rugby Dai Young was unsurprisingly a very happy man after watching his side record a 20-15 victory over Saracens at Twickenham in what was his first competitive game at the helm.
Wasps outscored the reigning champions by two tries to nil, with wing duo Christian Wade and Tom Varndell notching in either half. Nicky Robinson, who was among five players making their debuts for the club, converted both scores and also nailed two penalties as Wasps kicked off their league campaign with a surprise but fully deserved victory.
"The first thing I asked was for 100% commitment and they gave me that today," Young said. "They showed clear intent to play attacking rugby and they did that. Sometimes they made wrong decisions, and our scrum was not right - but we overcame that.
"We played a lot of rugby, won the collisions and put them under a lot of pressure. Saracens had us in a stranglehold for a while, but our defence was good. It's one game, one win, nothing more, and it's Leicester next week."
One of the major plusses for Young was the performance of New Zealander Jonathan Poff, a summer signing from the Crusaders. "Jonathan Poff is a real find," the former Blues boss said. "He turned up only a few days ago, and his professionalism and intensity are awesome, especially in defence."
Saracens admit the better side won
The loss of John Hart to injury just before the break was an undoubted negative but Young played down the severity of the back-row's problem.
"We hope John Hart's knock is just a twinge," he said. "He wanted to stay on so it was not that serious. But I did not want an important player like that to have an injury worsened."
Meanwhile, Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall was frustrated by the fact that his side had failed to see the game out after moving 15-13 ahead following a brace of penalties from replacement fly-half Charlie Hodgson.
"We are normally very good at closing out tight games, so it was a bitter blow not to go on and win," he said. "But Wasps were more physical and gained far too many yards to put us on the back foot in the first half and towards the end, and we failed to get enough clean lineout balls.
"This time last season we lost to Irish and didn't even get a losing bonus point, so we will stay calm and work on what we need to improve for next week's trip to Bath."
McCall, though, rejected the suggestion that he should have started with veteran No.10 Hodgson, who was making his debut after his close-season arrival from Sale, in place of Owen Farrell.
"Charlie Hodgson has been with us for only a couple of weeks having recently left the England camp," McCall explained. "Despite his experience, we decided it was important for him to have an easy start, but he'll be the starting fly-half very soon."
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