Young hails Haskell


Published: Sunday 18th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Wasps boss Dai Young heaped praise on his skipper James Haskell after the England flanker spearheaded a colossal defensive effort during his side’s 23-3 victory against Harlequins.

Early tries from Christian Wade and Joe Simpson helped Wasps establish an early 17-0 lead but Quins dominated possession and territory for the remainder of the contest.

But Wasps, despite losing Nathan Hughes to the sin-bin 10 minutes before half-time, restricted Quins to a solitary Ben Botica penalty in the second-half with Haskell leading his side’s defensive effort with aplomb.

“I thought he was outstanding,” said Young on Haskell’s performance. “I don’t think he’s had a bad game for us for a while. He probably covered every blade of grass and his tackle count must have been right up there.”

“I don’t think there was a bad performance from any of our players out there tonight. We didn’t have the ball certainly for large periods of the game. We didn’t have enough possession in the right areas but our defence won us that game. Our shape, as always, was pretty decent against a very good attacking team.”

After losing their opening two games to Leinster and Quins, Wasps looked to be facing an early exit from this season’s competition but back-to-back bonus point wins over Castres in December helped keep their Pool Two dream alive.

After their stunning result over Quins, Young’s side now face Leinster in a winner-takes-all clash in Coventry next Saturday.

“We put ourselves under a lot of pressure early on but we certainly have a lot of belief in our squad,” Young added.

“I think the first game against Castres, we knew we had to get a bonus point win. We felt we could back it up again (the following week) and then come here and get a result. There’s always close games between both our sides.

“We knew there was no reason why we couldn’t come here and win. It’s really exciting bringing Leinster to the Ricoh Stadium next week. We’re hoping for somewhere near a full house. The boys are all ready and really excited about it. It’s a nice place for us to be, going into the last round with a realistic chance of going through.”

Meanwhile, Harlequins director of rugby Conor O’Shea was left reeling following his side’s dismal performance at the Stoop.

“I think it would be safe to say that the scoreline was slightly unfair on us tonight,” O’Shea said. “But it is what it is and you just move on and get ready for next week.”

“We’ll just have to make sure we do what we need to do out in Castres if we can because it’s a tough place to go.”

Published: Sunday 18th January 2015 by The News Editor

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