Young glad to see Wasps evolve

Date published: November 29 2015

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young was thrilled to get a try bonus-point win over London Irish despite his side being off their best form.

Frank Halai's late score meant Wasps left Twickenham with the perfect result, even though the Exiles had made it difficult for Wasps throughout.

After fantastic wins over Leinster and Toulon in the Champions Cup there was always a danger of Wasps struggling to find the same intensity, but a late surge sealed the 33-15 win in a game that Wasps might have lost a season ago.

"It shows how far we’ve come over the last season or so – we’ve always had big performances in us, but backing it up has always eluded us and things haven’t quite gone as well for us on the field we’ve tended to crumble in the past," said Young.

"Things didn’t go 100 percent to plan today but we never looked like we were panicking, and we found a way to win – and I’m absolutely thrilled to come away with the bonus point."

Young reserved special praise for number eight Nathan Hughes, who once again impressed with 22 carries. He qualifies to play for England in June next year.

He added: "[Hughes] was outstanding again today – in periods where we started to go quiet today he carried very strongly and he’s worked really hard on his game.

"Last season we could see his ball carrying capabilities – he carries really strongly and gets us on the front foot, creates confusion around him because he’s always looking to offload – and if we can get penetration in the middle of the field we’ve certainly got the gas out wide to run it in."

Meanwhile, London Irish boss Tom Coventry was proud of his players' valiant defensive effort given Wasps enjoyed the majority of the possession, despite this being Irish's fifth straight loss in the Premiership so far this season.

"I see signs of growth in our game, particularly in our defence which was marvellous at times. They had 65 percent possession which is a vast amount to defend and I thought we were valiant in that respect," Coventry said.

"As you lose more you lose your confidence, so we need to kept and stay as positive as we can about what we’re trying to do. The boys are really hurting and it’s a frustrating time, but we need to continue to grow. A lot of what we’re doing is good, but the results aren’t coming. I’d like to hope at the end of the year we can look back on this time as a building block for us."