Young hails Wasps players after Bath win

Date published: December 26 2016

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young praised his players' performance in their 40-26 win over Bath at the Ricoh Arena on Christmas Eve.

The bonus-point victory means second-placed Wasps are now level on points with Saracens at the top of the table while Bath are six points adrift of Wasps in third place.

"It was a fantastic win, not a perfect performance obviously, but we showed some real endeavour in attack and some really great play," Young told Wasps' official website after the match.

"I think we lacked a little bit of energy in defence, especially in the first half, but you’ve got to give Bath a lot of credit as well. When they kept hold of the ball and got their tails up, they were a difficult team to stop. In saying that, I would’ve certainly settled for the result before the game, so I’m really pleased.

"Hopefully the boys can get a couple of days’ rest now, because it’s difficult on the back of a six-day turnaround to play such a big game like that, and I’m really proud of the players today. They couldn’t have given any more and I thought that was a great win for us."

Asked about the importance of becoming the only Premiership side to go the whole of 2016 unbeaten at home, Young said: "Of course we’re proud of our unbeaten home record in 2016, but it’s not something that we’ve talked about. We’ve just looked at every game and taken it game by game pretty much and today was just about beating Bath.

"It wasn’t about keeping a record going. We don’t want to make too much of it because it just becomes a motivating factor for someone else to come along and knock us off really. People can catch you and overtake you very quickly. There were big parts of our game today that weren’t great – I thought our driving line out game wasn’t great, stopping their driving line out game wasn’t great and defensively we lacked a little bit of energy and lost too many collisions, but we’ve done so many more things better than we the few things we did badly, so there are many more positives than there are negatives.

"We know we’ve got to keep on improving and I think that’s the biggest thing about this group of players, that’s the message we send all year. Yes, we know we’ve got qualities, but we’ve also know we’ve got to keep striving to get better with every game.

"I thought there were some really big performances today. We’ve got a lot of guys who are naturally big headline-grabbers in the backs, and deservedly so, but there was a lot of hard work up front today as well. I think Tommy Taylor has been amazing, for us certainly for the last month’s 80-minute performances week in week out.

"Matt Mullan has really put himself back on the international scene I think with some of his performances. Marty [Moore] was strong again. Ashley Johnson was really good on both sides of the ball. James Gaskell was outstanding as well. Nathan [Hughes] does what you know Nathan will do, he takes us forward. Launchers [Joe Launchbury] was everywhere for us again.

"Thomas [Young] had a very good game and I don’t know where he’s got that pace from, but it’s most definitely not from his old man, I can tell you that! I was really pleased with the forwards and we know that if we can set some sort of platform, we’ve got some exciting backs who can do the job for us and you saw that today from all of them, with Wadey who was obviously outstanding capitalizing to get his hat-trick. There wasn’t a bad performance, I am proud of every one of them, forwards and backs."