Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Sarries had extra gear - Young

Dai Young's Wasps side were well beaten on Saturday
Dai Young's Wasps side were well beaten on Saturday

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young acknowledged his team had been beaten by the better side after Saturday afternoon's 32-20 loss at home to Aviva Premiership leaders Saracens.

The hosts, without Joe Launchbury and Matt Mullan in their pack, were second best to a strong Sarries line-up with the visitors scoring four tries through Jamie George (two), Jackson Wray and Alex Goode.

Charlie Hodgson kicked a penalty and two conversions, with replacement Owen Farrell slotting a further penalty and conversion at Adams Park.

"They had an extra gear than us," Young said. "Their thought processes were better and whenever we punched them they came back with two.

"I tried to freshen it up and our attacking play was much better, but they were too powerful for us."

Wasps managed three tries through Tom Howe, Jonah Holmes and Carlo Festuccia but poor goal-kicking from Andy Goode prevented Wasps from getting back into contention.

Scrum-half Joe Simpson was at the heart of Wasps' battling effort, which drew praise from Young.

"We all know that Joe is a major threat on the break and there are not many greater attacking weapons at number nine," he said. "His kicking was excellent but sometimes he needs to play within a structure.

"We left a few points out there with missed kicks and, late on, Jonah Holmes should have scored a second try and he will view that as one that got away."

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall was delighted with his side's win.

"It is a difficult place to come but a bonus-point win is a great result for us," he said.

"It wasn't a perfect performance from us, but we were pretty formidable up front and clinical in taking our chances.

"We switched off a couple of times, which you can't afford to do against someone of the quality of their scrum-half (Simpson)."

Next week Saracens face a huge Heineken Cup quarter-final away at Ulster, which McCall accepts is a monumental task.

"It will be a very difficult game," he said. "There will be over 18,000 at the new Ravenhill and they are billing it as the biggest game in their history. We have been building for games like this for the past four or five years."

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