Smith hails Wasps’ defence

Date published: November 9 2015

Veteran flanker George Smith inspired Wasps to victory over Gloucester with a mammoth defensive display and admitted that winning in front of the Ricoh Arena faithful makes it even sweeter.

Wasps have not lost to the Cherry and Whites since September 2012 and a miserly defensive performance in Coventry ensured that remains the case.

A Christian Wade try and the powerful boot of Elliot Daly took the hosts into a 16-0 lead at the break, before Greig Laidlaw hit back with a penalty.

However, that would be Gloucester's only points of the afternoon, while Wasps added a second-half penalty try but fell two scores short of a bonus point.

"It's always important to win," said Smith, who won 111 Test caps for Australia.

"In the two losses that we have had, we haven't performed well and even tonight we know there are improvements to be made.

"In that first half we didn't put ball to hand and there were a lot of errors but it's great to get the win, especially at home in Coventry.

"We do pride ourselves on defence and our defence coach does work hard and give us key messages when we're on the field.

"I thought our lineout defence was fantastic, our scrummaging was very good – there are things to improve on but I'm very pleased with the win."

And the 35-year-old, who joined Wasps this year, is already looking forward to next weekend's Champions Cup opener against Leinster.

"It's an exciting championship and something I haven't been part of personally for a number of years," he added.

"It's great that the club gets an opportunity to compete in the Champions Cup against a formidable opponent in Leinster."

Defeat, meanwhile, sees Gloucester slip below Wasps in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table to ninth and director of rugby David Humphreys was left frustrated by what he saw in Coventry.

"We just couldn't score," he said. 

"Large parts of our game were good. Our set piece was excellent and it's ironic that the parts we were good at last year fell away today whereas some of the weaker areas were strong.

"We stuck at it and kept working but we didn't kick well enough in the first half. They got into our half on only four occasions with Elliot Daly kicking three super goals and they scored a fantastic try."