Young frustrated by Wasps’ lack of sting against Saints

BAD BREAK? - Wasps' James Bailey is stretchered off the Franklin's Gardens pitch (Picture: Linda Dawson)
BAD BREAK? - Wasps' James Bailey is stretchered off the Franklin's Gardens pitch (Picture: Linda Dawson)

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young spoke of his ‘frustration’ at seeing his Wasps side overpowered by Saints at Franklin’s Gardens on Friday night.

The High Wycombe side failed to take a point from a game for the first time this season as Saints cruised to a comfortable 24-6 win thanks to two tries from full-back James Wilson and 14 points from the boot of fly-half Stephen Myler.

All Wasps had to show for their efforts in front of a crowd just shy of 13,000 was two first-half penalties from Nick Robinson, and the visitors rarely looked like scoring a try, despite the threat from the wing from the electrifying Christian Wade.

Following their late capitulation against Worcester the previous weekend when Saints conceded four tries in the final 16 minutes before edging home 37-31, director of rugby Jim Mallinder ensured there were strong reserves on the bench, and was able to introduce the likes of Brian Mujati and England international Phil Dowson to the fray in the second half to ensure victory was achieved.

And Young felt that strength in depth was a key factor, as he said: “I’m frustrated really.

“We knew coming here how tough it would be – Northampton are unbeaten for a reason, they are a quality team and do the basics really well.

“We coped well with some of their key threats, their driving line out for example was one area we were strong and we coped with their scrum well for the first half, but when they made their changes they were able to step it up a level and we struggled.”

Wasps did their best to stretch Saints and were always probing for a breakthrough, but rarely got into the danger zone.

“We had a lot of possession but in the wrong areas and we found it very difficult to break them down, in fairness to Northampton they defended well,” said Young.

“They did the basics better than us and were more patient, and we have got to learn to be better at that.

“Our defence was more solid, though I am really disappointed with their first try which was soft, but there was a better bite about us in that area.”

Wasps were also rocked by a serious-looking first-half injury to James Bailey, who was stretchered from the field, and Young is fearing the worst for the former Gloucester and London Irish player who was making his first appearance for the club after signing from Lyon in the summer.

“It looks like a broken leg at this point,” said the former Cardiff Blues coach. “For that to happen so early into his debut is upsetting and we’re hoping it’s not as bad as we fear.”