Dai Young wishes Saracens well after Wasps fall short
Sarries are the only remaining English team left in the Champions Cup.
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young accepted that his team did not deserve to progress to the Champions Cup quarter-finals despite finishing their campaign in style with a 26-7 bonus-point win over Ulster at the Ricoh Arena.
Wasps’ victory saw them jump above Ulster into the runners-up spot in Pool One but their 17 points was insufficient to qualify for the last eight.
However, it did allow their fierce rivals Saracens to secure a spot as the only remaining English team.
Tom Cruse, Guy Thompson, Jake Cooper-Woolley and Willie Le Roux scored Wasps’ tries with Danny Cipriani converting three.
Sean Reidy scored a try for Ulster, which John Cooney converted.
Young said: “This competition is unforgiving and we played really well here today and against La Rochelle but we had a poor 10 minutes at Ulster and a disastrous last 20 at the Stoop last week.
“We responded very well to that and showed how much we cared and learnt from that defeat.
“We bombed a couple of tries but we showed real spirit in defence and controlled much of the game but we gifted them a try by not being sensible as we forced two impossible passes.
“After losing last week, qualification was always a long shot but we gave it as much as we could but we needed more than one result to go our way.”
Saracens now face a difficult away trip to top seeds Leinster over the Easter weekend but Young was optimistic about their chances.
He said: “Obviously I would have preferred it to be us, but I’m glad for Saracens as it’s different than when we play each other.
“We need English teams to progress as it’s good for the Premiership and I wouldn’t bet against Saracens going all the way.
“They are the benchmark with six British Lions in their line-up, who they have developed themselves, and will take all the beating.”
Cipriani inspired Wasps to victory but his future is in doubt as the club have recently signed All Black fly-half Lima Sopoaga.
Young explained: “Danny has a number of options, which he has to consider and will announce his decision in due course.
“We are not going to get caught sitting on our hands so we needed to make signings.”
Ulster boss Les Kiss was disappointed with his side’s performance.
He said: “We wouldn’t change our preparation but our accuracy was lacking.
“We made too many errors, critical ones, and they had a cutting edge when they needed to.”
His skipper Rory Best agreed: “Every time we got a foothold, we coughed up possession or infringed and, in those tough conditions, you really need accuracy.”