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Dai Young proud of his Wasps players after fightback against Toulouse

Published 23/10/2016

Dai Young was proud of his team's display
Dai Young was proud of his team's display

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young praised his players' composure in tough circumstances after they fought back to earn a deserved draw against Toulouse.

Nathan Hughes scored a dramatic last-gasp try with less than two minutes remaining as the Aviva Premiership side earned a 20-20 draw in a bruising European Champions Cup Pool Two encounter.

It was a very different style of game to the champagne rugby Wasps played against Zebre last week, and Young was pleased with the way his side adapted.

He said: "We showed a lot of composure, even when we were under the pump - in the last 20 minutes, we still had our structure and still had our patterns. And we produced opportunities.

"We produced three or four try-scoring opportunities just by carrying on playing and not getting frustrated.

"As the game wore on, Toulouse got a bit more tired and a bit more space started to open up for us and we started to play the rugby that we know we can play."

Young singled out Hughes and the nerveless Jimmy Gopperth, who slotted two difficult conversions - including a high-pressure kick from out wide with the clock ticking down, for particular praise.

He said: "In tight games - and these are always going to be tight games - you need a kicker of quality and my money's on Jimmy when it comes to those big kicks."

"I thought that was Nathan's best game. He's suffering a little bit of second-season syndrome and is being marked far more heavily than last season and he's not in the form he has been. But it happens.

"In fairness to him, he's worked hard and I thought he was excellent."

The Premiership high-fliers looked out of it for long periods of the game, with Census Johnston's second-half try giving the hosts a 13-6 lead. Josh Bassett and Gael Fickou then traded converted tries before Hughes and Gopperth's late show levelled the scores.

Young added: "We knew it was going to be tough for at least 60 minutes because we know physically they are a real big outfit. We know that, if they get momentum, they can offload and cause lots of problems - so they didn't really bring anything we weren't expecting.

"I thought we didn't help ourselves in the first half. Our set-piece wasn't strong enough so we didn't really fire any shots of our own and made it a bit more difficult for ourselves - and our discipline as well, we seemed to fall on the wrong side of the referee in the first half.

"We took a lot of bumps and bruises out there. They're a real physical mob and we had to adjust very early in the game after losing a couple of people. But you've got to come to these difficult places if you want to do well in this competition.

"To come away with two points, I think most people would say that's two points gained. We'd probably look at it as two points lost. It's a good start - but that's all it is."

Toulouse flanker Thierry Dusautoir bemoaned his side's inability to see out the game.

He said in quotes reported on Toulouse's website: "Of course there is frustration.

"When you dominate like that you have to win. We must kill the matches.

"High-level teams always come back in the game and never quit. This is the lesson Wasps have given us tonight.

"Two or three minutes from the end we had possession. A lack of control has brought us back to our half and they were able to profit."

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