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Young delighted by battling win

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young paid tribute to his players after they overcame the loss of England scrum-half Joe Simpson to end their nine-match losing run in the Aviva Premiership.

The crucial 18-13 derby victory over London Irish put Wasps eight points clear of Newcastle, who had cut the gap at the bottom to four points with their 9-9 home draw against leaders Harlequins less than 24 hours earlier.

Wasps were 13-12 down but a dominant Wasps scrum forced two late penalties, landed by fly-half Nicky Robinson, and Young said: "A lot of teams would have cracked at that stage. I was really proud how we got back to basics."

He added: "We turned the screw in the scrum and found the way to win. In difficult circumstances the players realised how important this result was, if we had lost it would have been 10 on the trot.

"It was so important to get that result and hopefully we can build on it now.

"This has been a difficult couple of months. We are certainly nowhere out of the woods yet because Newcastle are a good team and they are going to win some of their games so we've got to keep winning. It's in our own hands."

Irish have now won only one of their last eight matches in all competitions and head coach Toby Booth said: "I'm terribly disappointed for our fans who have come to watch.

"Wasps played with the desperation you would expect and were good for the win. They managed the game and the contact area better than we did and they got the upper hand in the set pieces as well.

"It came down to our management of the game in key areas of the pitch and we didn't manage it that well at all."

However, Booth added: "We cannot sit here and lick our wounds. We've got a bit of time with the LV= Cup and have a big St Patrick's Day game coming up against Leicester at home, but it isn't going to be easy."

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