Young: Wasps have shown belly for the fight in last three games
Wasps battled back from 18-6 and 25-18 deficits to clinch a draw at Gloucester.
Dai Young believes Wasps have answered their critics over the last three matches after dramatically grabbing a 25-25 Aviva Premiership draw at Gloucester.
The Kingsholm clash looked to be heading towards a Gloucester win as they led 25-18 going into the final minute but Jimmy Gopperth held his nerve to kick a last-gasp conversion to Christian Wade’s try as the visitors clinched a share of the spoils.
Gloucester had also held an 18-6 half-time advantage but Wasps’ response was an ideal riposte to their detractors, according to Young, whose side had beaten Harlequins and Exeter in the last two weeks.
Wasps’ director of rugby Young said: “We were static in the first half but I said to the players ‘let’s roll our sleeves up a little bit and, when we do carry the ball, look to get some penetration and then we can go to width (throw the ball wide)’.
“A big thing as well is that, in the last three games, we have shown a bit of spirit. Everyone knows that we can play rugby, everyone knows we can score tries.
“But, on occasions, our belly for the fight has been questioned and I think, in the last three games, we have stood up and shown that we do have the belly for the fight.”
Gloucester boasted an unbeaten record at home in the Premiership this season and tries from hooker Richard Hibbard and wing Charlie Sharples plus eight points from the boot of Billy Twelvetrees put them in charge at the interval.
Jimmy Gopperth added to his two first-half penalties by converting Dan Robson’s try while Thomas Young tied the match up when he crossed the whiteweash.
Henry Trinder re-established Gloucester’s lead but Wade and then Gopperth combined to ensure Wasps would not be beaten.
Young added: “When they scored at the end to make it a seven point game (at 25-18), it looked a challenge for us to get back into it.
“It looked like we would have to be happy with a (losing) bonus point but the last passage of play showed what we are all about.
“We kept the ball, we were not loose, we got behind them and it was an outstanding finish by Wade. And, obviously, if you want a pressure kick, I don’t know many better men (than Gopperth) who are going to step up and kick that.
“The game could have gone either way. They are a real quality team and I am sure they will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.”
There was, though, a lot of disappointment in the Gloucester camp.
Head coach Johan Ackermann said: “We were so close. There was two minutes left and they got the ball and we went back a full 100 metres.
“Credit to them. It was great composure they showed and a great try at the end. Then again, I am proud of the guys because we started and played with more direction and intensity.
“Where we let ourselves down was that we did not capitalise on opportunities and, right at the end, we had a few from the line-out and scrum.
“Even when we were on the goal-line, we could not get through and that is where we need to improve.”