WASPS boss Dai Young has highlighted the importance of beating Harlequins in their next continental showdown after his side began their European Rugby Champions Cup campaign with a 25-20 defeat to three-time champions Leinster in Dublin yesterday.
Samoa’s Alapati Leiua and wing Christian Wade both crossed the line as Wasps surged into a nine-point lead at the break with the ever-reliable Andy Goode adding 10 points with the boot.
Injury-hit Leinster remained in touch through two Ian Madigan penalties while European debutant Darragh Fanning powered over before doubling his tally late on as Dominic Ryan scored the decisive try for the hosts.
And while Coventry-bound Wasps could boast a commanding 20-11 lead at the break, Young believes his side were guilty of allowing the game to drift and the tide to turn in the opening stages of the second period.
“There is a lot of rugby to be played but it is important we get a win next week against Harlequins, that is the important thing for us to focus on,” said Young.
“We knew obviously going into half-time we hadn’t done enough to sit back and think we had done enough to win that game.
“We weren’t accurate enough in the first 10-15 minutes of the second half and ended up giving Leinster the ball and once they gained momentum, it’s very difficult to turn that momentum back in your favour. We’ve ended up defending pretty much for the last 30 minutes.”
Saracens opened their European account with a 30-23 success over French outfit Cleremont Auvergne on Saturday, the side Mark McCall’s charges dismantled in the semi-final of the Heineken Cup last term.
With the half-time scores locked at 10-10, Chris Ashton and David Strettle both powered over in the second half to double their tallies for the afternoon, with New Zealander Zac Guildford repeating the feat for the visitors.
England scrum-half Danny Care scored the only try of the game as Harlequins recorded a solid 25-9 success over Castres at the Stoop, with Nick Evans successfully kicking six penalties.
Full-back Topsy Ojo scored a hat-trick as London Irish ran in 10 tries at the Madejski Stadium against Italian side Rovigo in the European Rugby Challenge Cup while London Welsh lost 28-18 in the same competition to Lyon despite tries from Chris Elder and James Lewis.