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Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 28 March, 2020

'I think there’s a big fine around the corner if I said what I really thought'

Wasps’ Dai Young wasn’t happy with Kurtley Beale’s yellow card but had praise for the defeated Connacht.

Murray Kinsella reports from the Ricoh Arena

What you expect in Galway next weekend, Dai?

Wasps’ director of rugby pauses, smiles, and can’t resist.


Kurtley Beale and Nathan Hughes speak with Bundee Aki Kurtley Beale with Bundee Aki and Nathan Hughes. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

A cheap laugh maybe, but the former Wales international was full of praise for Connacht after his side notched a bonus point during a 32-17 victory in Coventry. Young is also adamant that Pat Lam’s men will be vastly better at the Sportsground next Saturday.

The Wasps boss was delighted with how his side closed out the game, having led just 20-17 heading into the final quarter, while the impact of Kurtley Beale on his debut at inside centre had Young purring too.

That said, Wasps were not happy with the yellow card dished out to Beale by referee Alexandre Ruiz for a high tackle on Niyi Adeolokun in the first half.

“I think there’s a big fine around the corner if I said what I really thought,” stated Young post-match. “There’s obstacles in the game and the referee’s interpretation was one we had to battle with and make sure it wasn’t a factor.

But we certainly seemed to fall on the wrong side of some decisions. We’ll look at ourselves for starters to see if we can tighten up. Some were head scratchers to be honest.”

Young was satisfied that his Wasps outfit had overcome all obstacles put in front of them this afternoon – “Connacht being the big one” – as they moved to the top of Pool 2 with 12 match points.

He is immediately focusing on preparing his side for the return tie next Saturday in Galway, where he believes the challenge will be more severe.

“It’s a difficult place to go,” said Young. “With all the success they’ve had over the last couple of season, it has just built the crowd up as well. The players wear the jersey with real pride and obviously grow a little bit playing at home as well.

“We know how tough it’s going to be. It’s a difficult place to go and play, kickers always find it difficult because it’s a little bit open. Going there, if you haven’t played there before, judging your kicks can be quite difficult. Galway is a lovely place but it’s a difficult place to go and play rugby.

Wasps' Dai Young on the pitch before the match Young was pleased with the bonus-point win. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

“I always found it difficult to work out how they play with the wind in both halves. I don’t know how they arranged that, but it’s a great place to play and they’ve really deserved their success over the last couple of seasons.

“They play a great brand of rugby and we know that it’s going to be a stiff test for us next week. We’re going to have to go up a couple of gears again, because I’m sure Connacht will go away today feeling they didn’t quite get what they wanted.”

Meanwhile, Wasps captain Joe Launchbury – who missed out on the man-of-the-match award to Beale – also praised the manner in which Connacht play the game.

The England lock, who scored a try, bossed the lineout and won some crucial turnovers this afternoon, is excited to bring his team to Galway to face the ambitious Connacht.

We talked all week about their attacking style, their threats and how dangerous they can be,” said Launchbury. “They definitely showed that at times and we’ll expect more of the same back in Galway next week.

“They play a great brand of rugby and hopefully people watching today saw two teams trying to play with ball in hand, trying to offload, trying to play to the wide channels. They, like us, have dangerous runners out in the wide channels.

“We knew the danger of their back three and hopefully it was good for the neutral. They do play a good brand of rugby.

“We’re really pleased with parts of our game, in defence I felt we shut them down in certain areas, but playing them at home will be a different challenge for us.

“We’ll have to contend with the atmosphere, the crowd, and all that comes with that. It’s exciting building up to that, which is going to be a great challenge for us next week.”

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Murray Kinsella

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