Premiership: Late draw feels like a heavy loss for Wasps boss Lee Blackett

Dylan Coetzee

Wasps head coach Lee Blackett was upset to see his side lose a considerable 39-14 lead to draw 42-42 against London Irish on Sunday.

Blackett’s men looked on their way to a bonus-point win that would have given them a glimmer of hope to make the Premiership playoffs. However, after the draw, Wasps are now seven points off fourth-placed Northampton.

Gutting result

It was a difficult result for Blackett, who defended his decision to take off important players before Irish completed their comeback with a penalty try in the game’s final play.

“It feels like walking away with a heavy loss and not collecting three valuable points in a tough fixture away from home,” Blackett said.

“I’m gutted because I thought I would be describing some terrific efforts from some of our players as they put in a massive effort for the first 65 minutes.

“We had managed the game superbly and were in total control but then we became sloppy and every bounce of the ball went their way.

“I don’t regret taking certain players off as we believed that we had sufficient strength to see out the game.

“We knew that they are a very dangerous side but the crowd got behind them and we couldn’t find a way of stopping their momentum.

“Behind Northampton’s result on Friday, I thought we had a good chance of making the playoffs, when they won I thought we had a faint chance. Now it’s extremely difficult but we will keep going.”

Irish’s boss Declan Kidney was delighted with the comeback from his players and believes it is a good result for his side.

“You can’t coach it but the boys have a massive desire to fight to the end and I thought we had a squad that would finish well,” Kidney said.

“We didn’t take our chances in the first 20 minutes as we had four entries in their 22 but came away with nothing.

“In the middle third of the game, we lost our way and with five minutes to go, I would have bitten your hand off if you had offered me a draw.

“The fans will have gone away in a state of euphoria, which is good, but we will have learned a lot from that and as coaches we will have to assess the whole 80 minutes.”

READ MORE: A late penalty try secures London Irish a dramatic draw against Wasps