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Dai Young thinks Wasps made 'big statement' in defeating Leicester

Director of rugby Dai Young said Wasps made a "big statement" with their convincing 36-24 victory over Leicester at the Ricoh Arena.

Wasps, who outscored the Tigers five tries to three, leapfrogged Leicester and into third in the Aviva Premiership with the visitors unable to cope with their opponents' energy, power and all-out attack.

The win ended a run of four successive defeats by Leicester and was a complete turn-around from the match at the Ricoh last May, which Leicester won 26-21.

Young believes Wasps will take some stopping if they can continue this form to the end of the season.

He said: "It was a big statement. We know we have got the quality but sometimes you have to roll your sleeves up.

"Twelve months ago Leicester were too physical for us in the contact area, they smashed us.

"I thought today we controlled the gain line and we only started to concede when we went laterally.

"I wasn't comfortable until 20 minutes to go when Nathan Hughes scored his try because I have huge respect for the Tigers and they keep going.

"If we play the rugby we want to play it takes a good team to stop us, but teams are not going to let us play. We know the contact area is going to be a battle, people will shove people in there to slow our ball down.

"We have to earn the right to play the way we want to play, but when we hit our straps we are a difficult team to stop."

Wasps completely outplayed Leicester in the first half, with centre Charles Piutau scoring two tries and Christian Wade also touching down - although the winger gifted Tigers centre Peter Betham a try.

Winger Frank Halai and Hughes scored in a disjointed second half, while Leicester replied with tries from replacement winger Telusa Veainu and Vereniki Goneva.

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill said Adam Thompstone's disallowed try for a forward pass right on half-time when Wasps were leading 22-10 was a crucial moment but admitted Wasps deserved to win.

He said: "You can give them either way but the benefit of doubt seems to go to the defending side.

"But they were strong through the middle. I was a bit disappointed with our defensive display at times but they took their opportunities well.

"We conceded too many tries too easily. If you get broken that cleanly it's going to cost you.

"Credit to the boys for sticking in there. We were playing for two points at the end but we were a bit under-powered in the backline. That hurt us."

Leicester, who play leaders Saracens next week, have dropped to two places to fifth. Cockerill said: "It's very tight and anyone in that top eight will be looking to push for the top four.

"Saracens is an important game next week and then we go to Sale. It's an important couple of weeks for us, it's going to go to the wire."

Wasps' former Australian flanker George Smith suffered a bang on the head in the second half and had to go off. Young said he would go through the protocols but was "fine".


From Belfast Telegraph