Wasps stung as Exeter end their European dream

WASPS director of rugby Dai Young criticised his player’s tackling after their hopes of playing Heineken Cup rugby next season went up in smoke with a 37-24 defeat to Exeter.

Exeter exploited weaknesses in the Wasps defence to run in two first-half tries through Jack Yeandle and Jack Nowell and sealed the Aviva Premiership contest with second half scores from Damian Welch and Haydn Thomas.

And with Wasps’ hopes of finishing in the top six now over, Young was critical of his team’s defence.

“Organisation wise I felt we were fine but they have got to make the tackles. First up tackles were shocking and it was really disappointing,” said Young. “Exeter were very good at slowing the ball down and very aggressive in that area. We didn’t match that on occasions.

“But saying that I thought our accuracy wasn’t good enough and we didn’t really have that cutting edge.”

Wasps, who hit back with scores from Christian Wade, Hugo Southwell and Tom Varndell, have now lost seven matches in a row, in all competitions, and are eight points off the top six with one game to play.

Meanwhile, Premiership leaders Saracens will go into their Heineken Cup semi-final with Toulon having seen their six-game unbeaten run in the league ended by Gloucester.

Sarries fell 28-23 at Kingsholm and director of rugby Mark McCall believes the defeat could act as a reality check going into their European semi-final at Twickenham.

“We gave away a couple of reasonably soft scores, some of our mistakes gave Gloucester their opportunities,” said McCall. “Toulon is a huge challenge for us. There will definitely be things we can take from the game.

“Sometimes you need some gentle reminders of what you are about and what makes you successful.”

Harlequins claimed their second straight win with a 42-26 defeat of Worcester to remain third while London Irish beat London Welsh 47-28 at the Madejski Stadium.

The Aviva Premiership Rugby final has sold out for the last five years. To snap up one of the remaining tickets go to ticketmaster.co.uk or call 0844 844 0444