‘We are going to enjoy tonight’ – Young

Date published: April 9 2016

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Wasps director of rugby Dai Young praised his side's resolve as they came from behind to beat Exeter 25-24 with the last kick on Saturday.

A last-minute score from Charles Piutau was converted by Jimmy Gopperth as Wasps booked a Champions Cup semi-final clash with Saracens.

Young was clearly delighted, despite the drama at the death in Coventry.

"I'm not particularly surprised by the resilience we showed today, because I know the character of these boys and we also thought it would open up at some stage. But I was proud with the resolve we showed, when we went behind, to get back into it," he told the Wasps website.

"I'd have preferred it if it didn't take us until 79 minutes – it would have been nice if it had been 29 minutes or so – but we just had to keep working."

He added on Exeter's performance: "It was a great piece of theatre to end the game for our supporters and not a bad way to win, but that also means it's not a great way to lose.

"So you’ve got to feel for Rob and his squad, as it was a game that could have gone either way and you always feel a bit for your counterpart in that situation. I’ve been on the receiving end of a couple of those and know how it feels."

"We know Exeter are a great team and they showed that today. When they get inside your 22 they cause you problems with their pick and go game and with their driving lineout. We just had to make sure they didn't get too many platforms and keep believing.

"They did well stopping our first up runners and we talked about getting out the back and finding a little bit of space on the outside. That is exactly what happened with the last try. It was a good pass by Elliot (Daly) to help set it up and then Charles (Piutau) did the rest. After the try it left a big kick to end it, but Jimmy (Gopperth) did fantastically under the pressure. 

"Fair play to Jimmy, you’ve got to give him credit as it wasn’t an easy kick. Not many people in the stadium were watching it with two eyes open, and if it was going a little bit to the left, then the Wasps fans blew it back in!"

Wasps will now regroup before that big game against Saracens and Young revealed that the club's supporters played a big role on Saturday.

"We've enjoyed the European Cup and we worked hard to reach the quarter-final. Us getting out of the group was a statement, because it was a tough pool and we did very well to get a home draw. That was probably the difference between us sneaking through today and not. Getting to a semi-final in Europe can’t be sniffed at," he said.

"Our Wasps' supporters were sensational again. It was probably the busiest and noisiest reception we've had yet, getting off the team bus and it was just incredible. You can't underestimate how much that kind of reception means to the players. 

"In the stadium as well, they were magnificent. One of the first things the players said when they came in the changing room after the game, was how loud our Wasps' fans were and how much they got behind the team when we went behind. That meant a lot to everyone and on behalf of all the players, I'd like to thank them for that kind of backing."

Young added: "We’re going to play another English team, which will be another battle for us, but we’ll worry about that when it comes.

"We always knew this was going to be tough, so we are going to enjoy tonight because the boys deserve it. 

"It's new territory for us, we haven't been this far in Europe for nine years. So we are looking forward to being right up there at the sharp end of these competitions. We know we will be facing either Northampton or Saracens in the semi finals now, so it will be dangerous English opposition yet again." 

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