Wasps boss Dai Young insists his side require a period of introspection after a 31-17 defeat to defending champions Exeter ensured they lost successive Premiership matches for the first time since January 2016.
Wing Olly Woodburn touched down twice, while Dave Dennis, Don Armand and Shaun Malton also notched tries, as Exeter claimed a bonus-point win which returned them to the Premiership’s summit.
Wasps, whose tries were scored by Josh Bassett and Ashley Johnson, have now failed to win in 11 trips to Sandy Park and are fifth in the table, four points adrift of fourth-placed Newcastle.
“Sandy Park is always a tough place to come, we know that from previous visits,” said Young. “But if you give any team 60 per cent possession and territory – let alone the champions – it’s going to be a hard day at the office.
“From our point of view they had far too much ball in the wrong area of the pitch, so although you have to give them some credit for that, we also have to look at ourselves. If you give Exeter that many opportunities to run at you, the dam is going to burst at some point.”
Former Bath star Woodburn’s second try moments before the break sealed a 12th bonus point in 13 matches for the Chiefs.
Exeter head coach Ali Hepher said: “We’ve got a little to work on, we’d like to be more ruthless in the second half. But the first half we got good momentum against a quality side and we’re starting to accelerate towards Europe.”
Northampton, meanwhile, ran in six tries as the Saints beat London Irish 40-25 at the Madejski Stadium to record a third successive Premiership victory and move third in the table, level on points with Saracens.
The hosts threatened a comeback when wing Alex Lewington dotted down to make the score 26-13, only for Wales flyer George North to all but make the game safe for Northampton prior to a flurry of late tries.