‘We’re out’ – Young accepts European campaign over as Wasps lose their way at home
Dai Young conceded defeat in his side’s latest bid for European glory as Wasps failed to deliver the winning blow in what the director of rugby had claimed would be a “knockout game”. Indeed, it was their French opponents who were more physical and clinical at the Ricoh Arena with Toulouse making it three wins in a row and staying at the top of Pool 1.
As for Wasps, who let a 13-10 halftime lead slip away, they must somehow regroup and try to turn the tables in the return clash in France next weekend and keep struggling on.
However, a dejected Young admitted: “We’re out – it’s as simple as that. If you’re not going to win your home games that’s pretty much it.
“We won’t change our focus, we still go out to France next week looking to give it our best shot and there’s no reason why we can’t go there and perform and get something out of that game.
“I’m disappointed to go out. It was always a tough group, but the minimum requirement was for us to go into the Leinster game with an opportunity for it to be in your hands.
“We haven’t been good enough. We’ve played against some good teams and should have beaten Bath. Leinster were too good for us on the day.
“And Toulouse had a little bit more than us. We let ourselves down with the tries, two easy tries and we need to be better with the ball.
“We missed simple tackles and you have to be better than that, certainly in any competition let alone the European Cup, so that really hurt us. We didn’t get enough of the ball, struggled for real penetration, which forced us into panic rugby, chaos rugby, a lot of loose passes.”
Young was also left cursing another injury to England No8 Nathan Hughes, who limped out of the contest after less than 20 minutes with a hip injury after being slammed to the ground by giant Toulouse lock Joe Tekori.
Hughes had early been the victim of a neck tackle onto his back which rattled the big No8 who returned to international action for England against Australia after missing the opening three games of the autumn campaign.
He will now be assessed by the medical staff at the Ricoh ahead of next week’s game in France but Wasps will certainly need his physical presence if they are to keep their very slim chances of qualifying alive.
Even Toulouse being down to 14 men on two occasions yesterday failed to let Wasps gain a grip of things with the visitors determined to keep their remarkable run of results and form going.
Lying second in the Top 14, they are looking genuine European contenders.
Fly-half Lima Sopoaga kicked Wasps ahead but a superb solo try from wing Cheslin Kolbe and then Thomas Ramos’s boot edged Toulouse in front.
The visitors lost prop Maks van Dyk sin-binned for a dangerous hit on hooker Tom Cruse and Wasps capitalised with lock Will Rowlands crashing