4th Dec, 2021

RUGBY UNION - Barrow: Wasps need to maintain standards against Leicester

SCOTT Barrow insists Wasps need to match the standards they set in their narrow defeat last weekend ahead of a tough game against Leicester Tigers in the Premiership Rugby Cup at the Coventry Building Society Arena on Saturday lunchtime.

 

Wasps were beaten 34-27 by the Falcons at Kingston Park in their opening group match – with Olly Hartley, James Tunney and Michael van Vuuren all crossing for the visitors.

 

And backs transition coach Barrow will lead Wasps again this weekend for the visit of Leicester who are currently top of the Gallagher Premiership standings having won all eight of their matches so far this season.

 

The Tigers beat Sale Sharks last weekend to maintain their perfect start to the campaign and Barrow hopes his players can match the levels they reached in their last outing at the CBS Arena on Saturday.

 

Barrow said: “Leicester are gritty, they get stuck in, their set-piece is good – they punished any mistakes by Sale last weekend and squeezed a lot of points out – we’re expecting something similar.

 

“The players were still sore on Tuesday – we knew they were going to be sore and tired because those lads have not played at that sort of level before.

 

“We’ve trained really well and really hard – we’ve got to try and get back to that standard – learning about the consistency of having to do that week in week out is invaluable for them.

 

“We’ve got to get back to that level and if we play at the level we were at last Saturday – nobody will feel let down and they’ll do the jersey proud again.

 

“We’re in a good place to try and match that standard again at the weekend.”

 

And Barrow was disappointed to come away from the North East with a solitary losing bonus point having led by seven points at the interval at Kingston Park.

 

Barrow added: “We made a fast start – we conceded quite a few line breaks but are scrambling effort was outstanding to keep us in the game.

 

“We maybe should have come away with a bit more than we left with – we got into their 22 on four occasions in the second-half and came away with zero points.

 

“To get in those positions was an outstanding effort from everyone involved – everyone had written us off with 11 debuts and the strength of their team.

 

“It was nice to compete but at the end of the day we’re in it to try and win it – we have a winner’s mentality – and we wanted to come away with more.”

 

Wasps handed debuts to 10 players in their defeat at Newcastle and Barrow believes the squad will be just as excited ahead of their home bow this weekend.

 

Barrow said: “I pulled a couple of the backs together before we announced the team – we were sat in the canteen and I was talking through some plays with them.

 

“They both looked at each other and said: ‘Are we playing?’ and I said: ‘Yeah, you’re playing.’ and they high-fived each other – they didn’t really expect it.

 

“That is really good as a coach to see them so keen to put a Wasps shirt on and put themselves under that pressure and in the limelight to go and achieve.

 

“I think the players were more excited than nervous – it wasn’t just one guy making his debut – because there was a group of them they were bouncing ideas off of each other which was good.”

 

Wasps host Leicester on Saturday, November 20 with kick-off at 1:30pm at the CBS Arena.

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