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Danny Cipriani praised by Dai Young on his Wasps return

Published 04/09/2016

Wasps coach Dai Young was pleased with Danny Cipriani's first game back at the club
Wasps coach Dai Young was pleased with Danny Cipriani's first game back at the club

Dai Young believes that Danny Cipriani can be "pretty pleased" with his Wasps return following a 25-20 Aviva Premiership victory over Exeter at the Ricoh Arena.

England international fly-half Cipriani, who made his first Premiership appearance for Wasps since May 2010 after rejoining them from Sale Sharks, had a solid, rather than spectacular afternoon, as Wasps fought back from 12 points adrift early in the second period.

"Danny was a little bit frustrated in the first half, because he didn't have the options," Wasps rugby director Young said.

"But for his first hit-up back in the Wasps jersey, I think he can be pretty pleased. He did pretty well."

Exeter centre Ollie Devoto rightly avoided any punishment from referee Tom Foley after his boot accidentally went close to Cipriani's head at a maul.

And Young added: "Yes, it was an obvious kick through (the maul), but there is nobody in that Exeter team, I believe, would look to kick any one of our players in the head. I don't believe for one minute that it was intentional.

"That's just not in their make-up, right through their club, so if there was connection with the head, it was a total accident. I certainly wouldn't be thinking anything along the lines of foul play, because that is not part of Exeter's make-up."

Centre Jimmy Gopperth, scrum-half Dan Robson and hooker Tommy Taylor all scored tries for Wasps, while Gopperth added two conversions and two penalties for a 15-point haul to thwart the Chiefs.

Exeter bossed the opening 50 minutes, taking charge through touchdowns from number eight Thomas Waldrom and scrum-half Will Chudley, with fly-half Henry Slade kicking 10 points, but they were undone by Wasps' strong final quarter display.

Young said: "It was certainly a game of two halves. The first half, we were disappointed with our work-rate, and we kicked the ball away far too many times.

"At half-time, we talked about working harder, getting ourselves into position earlier, winning the gain-line battle and getting quick ball.

"I was pleased with the second half and that we found a way to win. Everything we talked about before the game in the first half, we didn't do. That was ringing in the players' ears a little bit at half-time.

"I was pleased with the boys' discipline, not back-chatting to the referee. To be honest, he tried my patience today. Some of the decisions, I thought, were nowhere near correct, really.

"But one thing I always say to the players is to never look at the referee, but look at ourselves. At this stage of the season, you would settle for a win against a top team. Without a shadow of a doubt, they are going to be a top-four team."

Assessing his team's display, Exeter head coach Rob Baxter added: "Overall, the way I would look at it is we have put in a pretty good base-line with our first performance.

"The guys needed a really tough game to get the legs and the lungs going. We are up and running now. Of course, I would have liked to have won. Am I hugely disappointed with the performance? No.

"There were a few frustrating elements there, but nothing that we can't put right very quickly."

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