Dai Young says Wasps head to Exeter free of pressure
Wasps have never won at Sandy Park but Dai Young insists his troops head to their play-off semi-final at Exeter pressure free after finishing the regular Aviva Premiership season with a convincing 38-12 victory over London Irish.
Tries from Thomas Young, Charles Piutau, Christian Wade, Dan Robson, Josh Bassett and Ashley Johnson secured the bonus-point victory Wasps needed at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday, as they looked to earn a home semi-final by coming second in the table.
But Exeter's resounding 62-24 victory over Harlequins means Wasps will have to travel to Sandy Park on May 21.
Director of rugby Young said: "I'm not disappointed that we've got to go to Exeter, I'm more pleased about and proud with our efforts this year to come third.
"Exeter deserve to be second as they've beaten us twice in the league and they've been up there all season.
"Sandy Park will be a massive challenge for us but we'll be totally focussed and it's a challenge we believe we can overcome if we get things right.
"If we can get our game going we can cause them problems, as I'm sure they know.
"This is not pressure rugby now, it's enjoyment, as we've worked hard and are one big game away from getting to a final."
Johnny Williams and Alex Lewington's tries in either half had given Irish hope against Wasps but Tom Coventry's men knew going into the contest they will be playing in the second tier next season, unless Bedford Blues win the Championship play-offs as they are unable to be promoted due to their ground.
Irish head coach Coventry said: "We obviously wanted to be better this year, but when you're in a business like rugby union you have to be thinking about your squad and how you can develop it all the time.
"We'll also look at some of the players in our squad that have come through and how we continue to develop them, and there will probably be a bit of movement as, like everyone else, we'll have a few coming and a few going.
"We can keep most of the squad in place, albeit we are keen to make a few changes and make sure we bounce back. Keeping the group together has been key to other clubs who have gone through this situation down the years and it will be our responsibility to do that.
"It's a long, arduous competition and managing the squad with the amount of injuries we had was quite difficult and not having some of our key signings on the field at all was frustrating."