RUGBY UNION: DAI Young believes his Wasps side will have to be at their very best if they are to beat Leinster in Dublin and progress into the semi-final of the European Champions Cup.
Wasps booked their place in the last eight after topping Pool 2 thanks to a 27-41 victory away at Zebre Rugby on Sunday.
Young’s side beat Leinster twice last season in the same competition but Young knows the Pool 4 winners will provide a more difficult test this time around having lost just one match in the Champions Cup this season.
“We played Leinster twice last season, but they are a much-improved team who have been playing with real tempo this season,” said Young.
“Last season, they were a team in transition, but they’ve really clicked this year so we know we’ll have to be at our best against them.
“We have been to Dublin and won before so that will give us belief that we are capable of doing it again, but we are under no illusion about how much better we will need to be than we were today to achieve that. A performance like today won’t be good enough against a team like Leinster.”
With half-an-hour gone Wasps were 13-3 down against a spirited Zebra side but a yellow card for the home side switched the momentum and three tries before the break by Ashley Johnson, Danny Cipriani and Elliot Daly allowed the visitors to take control at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi Stadium.
Wasps took advantage of a second Zebra yellow card in the second half and further tries by Johnson and Christian Wade secured a fourth Pool 2 win for Wasps who finish four points ahead of second-placed Toulouse.
“The performance was disappointing, but to be honest it wasn’t really about that,” Young continued. “It was about topping the group and getting out of it to guarantee we made the last eight, which we’ve now done three years on the trot.
“Although we weren’t as good as we could have been, you have to put some of that down to Zebre as well and give them credit.
“This was their last chance to make a mark this year and I’m sure they would have gone out there today wanting to show people they are worthy of being in this competition, which they did.
“We expected Zebre to come out and be a very proud team, and they certainly were. They played some really good rugby, but that wasn’t a great performance by us and we’re going to have to be a lot better.
“It’s the best I have seen Zebre play, but it wasn’t a surprise to me, as I thought they might cause an upset somewhere along the line, and was hoping it wouldn’t be against us!”
Wasps return to Anglo-Welsh Cup action this Saturday when they visit Exeter Chiefs.