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Dai Young steels Wasps for Bath bid to set record straight

Published 19/02/2016

Wasps rugby director Dai Young is wary of Bath's threat when the meet in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday
Wasps rugby director Dai Young is wary of Bath's threat when the meet in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday

Wasps boss Dai Young has no doubt that Bath will want to "set the record straight" when the Aviva Premiership rivals meet for a fourth time this season on Saturday.

The clubs claimed one European win each, while Wasps shaded a scrappy Premiership encounter last October, but current form hugely favours Young's men.

While Wasps arrive in the west country following a startling 64-23 demolition of league leaders Saracens last weekend, Bath have won just two from their last seven Premiership starts - and both of those were against struggling Worcester.

"Sunday's performance against Saracens was certainly one for the memory banks, but that's where it stays," Young said.

"We all know how tough a side Bath are to break down, especially at the Rec. We know each other well, and both teams will be aware of the quality in each side.

"I am sure Bath will want to set the record straight and make it 2-2 after our win there in Europe, so we know they will throw everything at us on Saturday. We will need to be at our absolute best again."

Bath certainly know what might be coming from Wasps, having been on the receiving end of a 36-10 Champions Cup defeat - their heaviest European home loss - against them in December.

"They play a great brand of rugby and showed what they can do last Sunday. It was very impressive," Bath flanker Francois Louw said.

"There are a lot of games left, and every game is massive for us.

"If we can get on a run, it's not impossible to get to the top four, but it's a big ask for us. It's going to take a hell of an effort.

"We can't give them an opportunity to run with the ball. Against Saracens, they were three tries up inside the first eight minutes, and that killed the game. They have a lot of attacking options and some really big ball-carriers."

Saracens, meanwhile, have an immediate chance to resume normal service at Allianz Park when they host Gloucester on Saturday, and scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth said: "We let our fans down badly at the weekend. They have been extremely supportive, and we need to give them something to shout about.

"Full credit to Wasps for their brilliant performance, but as with any side, you look at yourself first and it just wasn't acceptable what we produced."

For their part, Gloucester intend taking little notice of Saracens' latest result, which was unquestionably the most eye-catching of this season's Premiership campaign so far.

"We haven't really looked at that performance, it was one of those freak results that is very difficult to explain. I think that Wasps were outstanding on the day," Gloucester rugby director David Humphreys said.

"But we are well aware that Saracens have been the form team in Europe over the past few months, so it's a huge challenge for us, another big test following games against Leicester, Bath and Harlequins."

Sale Sharks rugby director Steve Diamond takes his team to Worcester on Saturday, where an away victory would keep them firmly in contention for a play-off spot, with just five points separating six clubs immediately behind current Premiership top two Saracens and Exeter before the latest round of league action.

"We have got to get a win at the weekend to keep the pressure on the teams that are around us, and more importantly, the top four," Diamond said.

"They (Worcester) are a very good side, very combative. They have probably dragged themselves into a dogfight a bit, which they won't be happy about, but we have got to go down there and play better than we did at the weekend to beat them.

"It's difficult away from home. Dean Ryan is a good coach, and they have a good pack of forwards. We have got a lot to do."

Sunday's Premiership action sees two of the bottom three clubs with home advantage, as 12th-placed London Irish host Exeter and Newcastle entertain Northampton.

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