24th Sep, 2018

Positive thinking for Wasps coach Lee Blackett after heavy defeat to Exeter Chiefs in Anglo-Welsh Cup

Steve Carpenter 30th Jan, 2017 Updated: 31st Jan, 2017

RUGBY UNION: BACKS coach Lee Blackett is determined to take some positives from a disappointing performance after a young Wasps side fell to a heavy 52-5 defeat at Exeter Chiefs to end any hopes of progressing to the quarter-final stage of the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

A vastly experienced Exeter side controlled proceedings from start to finish on Saturday with Will Rowland scoring what proved to be Wasps’ only try of the match in the sixth minute of play.

“We are disappointed with the result,” said Blackett. “We’ve played enough against this club to know how good of an outfit they are.

“They have massive strength in-depth, whatever Exeter team you play against, you know it is going to be a strong one, especially when they are down here playing at home.

“I think the effort was there throughout from us, you can’t really fault it. All of the coaching staff are pretty happy with the way that they dug in and finished the game strongly in the second half.”

“I’m pretty proud of the way that we reacted second half. We were a bit disappointed first half. Structurally and defensively we were pretty good, we just made a couple of individual errors.

“We were happy with how many opportunities we created again, we’ve just got to finish those opportunities. Exeter took their opportunities, whereas we didn’t.”

It was a much changed Wasps team to the side that beat Zebre last with, with just Craig Hampson being the only player to appear in both 23-man squads.

And Blackett feels the first team exposure will benefit the club’s young players in the future.

He added: “We had a lot of young guys out there, we had guys who have recently come in from outside the club and four guys that were playing for Wasps’ Under 18s last week.

“I think it was great to get those guys out there. Especially coming to Sandy Park, to see how difficult it is. It provides a real eye-opener for them about how tough that next level is.

“We are disappointed with the result, but we knew where we were, with the age of most of the squad that it wasn’t going to be easy. To their credit I thought a lot of the young lads stuck to it till the end.”

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