Young hails players after Zebre triumph

Date published: October 15 2016

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young hailed his players after thier 82-14 win over Zebre in their Champions Cup opener at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday. 

Young was understandably delighted after his side outscored their visitors by 12 tries to two.

"We couldn't have asked for much more today, getting the five points secured early on in the game and we kept our foot on the pedal which was pleasing," he told Wasps' official website. 

"You obviously never get a perfect performance, but you've certainly got to be pleased with that out there today. 

Explaining how the result was achieved Young said: "We talked about keeping our structures and sticking to the plan all week. There was obviously a bit more space out there than when we played Saracens last week. 

"We kept that mental pressure on Zebre today and we didn't ease up as the game went on. It is quite easy to come off structure, so the important thing for us was to keep within our structures and to keep working on getting some penetration. If we can get penetration, we've obviously got the backs that can finish off chances for us if you put them into space." 

When asked for an assessment of where he currently sees his Wasps team's ability to challenge at the very highest level, Young replied: "I'm quite honest with our players and with the media, I think we are a very good team and when we are playing at our best, with tempo, we're a very tough team to beat. 

"Teams are going to target us and try to stop us playing with any tempo and take us on at set piece time. We know what teams are going to try and achieve, so it is up to us to try to really dominate that area. We also know that if we're not at our best, other teams will beat us so it's about going out and doing ourselves justice.

"We've now lost that underdog tag and we know there are some big games on the horizon. For us we just need to worry about ourselves, while always being respectful of the opposition. We need to set our own standards and work week-to-week to improve individually and collectively."

Looking ahead to Toulouse next week, Young said: "Let's enjoy tonight, it's going to be a big challenge next week but one that we are looking forward to. 

"That is the challenge that we now want, challenges that we run into, not away from. We want to go into the next few games with lots of confidence and the result today will certainly help to build that confidence."

Coaches are notoriously difficult to please and even after such a comprehensive win Young found some areas of the performance that he wants to improve.

"We were a little bit sloppy for the two tries we conceded, but we were probably forcing it a little bit during the first half," he added.

"Our discipline wasn't fantastic and that poor discipline kept Zebre in the game really as it gave them field-position. So that is going to be a big message going forward. We'll have a look at this performance, it wasn't perfect, but we were pleased with it and we know there are areas that we are going to have to improve on for next week."