Dai Young has warned Wasps they will need an 80-minute performance if they are to have any chance of beating Saracens in the Aviva Premiership semi-finals.
Despite scoring six tries in a 39-22 victory at Newcastle Falcons – who face Exeter at Sandy Park in the other semi-final – Wasps surrendered a 31-3 advantage to be hauled back to 31-22.
Willie le Roux then scored a late try to make the game safe with just two minutes left on the clock, but Young warned: “We aren’t going to win at Saracens with a 60-minute performance like that.
“We need to play for 80 minutes and we will have to be at our best at Allianz Park – I want us to go there and perform. That’s the challenge and we have to be up for it.
“We played really well for those 60 minutes, we were very good but then we were fairly loose and we have lost a lot of games late on. It is our Achilles heel and I am pretty pleased to have come through.
“I believe we can play for 80 minutes like we did for those 60 minutes and we will have to do that against Saracens. We were pretty casual in those last 20 minutes and we have to stop just chucking the ball over our shoulders.
“We’ve worked hard on our fitness and concentration, but what happened today is very much the story of our season and we aren’t going to go to Saracens and win it with a 60-minute performance.”
Forced to make eight changes, Newcastle director or rugby Dean Richards conceded Wasps were the better side and full value for victory.
“They have some gifted players, but we did give them lots of time and space to do what they did,” said Richards.
“When we decided to play, we got back to nearly within a score and when you’re pushing it and chasing the game that’s when turnovers happen and that’s what happened and it was a killer blow.
“The options going into the semi-final at Exeter will be totally different for us – we will have a few players to come back in and we will step it up. We will look at what happened today and learn from it and the lads are not happy with today’s result.
“We have two weeks to come up with a plan to beat Exeter down there and we know we’re capable of winning away from home, but we do know they will be difficult to beat down there.”