4th Dec, 2021

RUGBY UNION - Blackett: Gloucester are a dangerous side

WASPS head coach Lee Blackett is wary of a “dangerous” Gloucester side as the two teams return to Gallagher Premiership action on Friday night.


Backs Transition Coach Scott Barrow led Wasps during the two-week Premiership Cup window and oversaw a narrow defeat to Newcastle Falcons before being hammered by Leicester Tigers last weekend.


And Wasps were also beaten in their last league outing as they surrendered a 16-point lead at the break in defeat against reigning Premiership champions Harlequins.


However, Blackett is excited ahead of Friday’s clash under the lights at the Coventry Building Society Arena and singled out Gloucester’s backline as posing the biggest threat to his side.


Blackett said: “Gloucester are playing really well this year – they’ve got a dangerous backline and their maul is right up there if not the best in the competition.


“They are a dangerous side – well-coached – and they’re going well, we know how tough Friday night will be but we’re excited to play under the lights.


“It’s not something we do that often at home – the boys spoke within the meeting about how excited they are for this occasion.”


Senior Academy player Olly Hartley scored tries in both of Wasps cup matches and head coach Blackett was delighted to see so many youngsters make their debuts for the club over the last fortnight.


Blackett added: “We’re really disappointed with the results but there were some positive aspects to those games.


“There was something like 14 debuts across the two games – it’s great to see those guys in Wasps jerseys.


“In an ideal world – when you come to the Premiership Cup games you’d like to play a stronger side with a few youngsters in and more senior guys, with the amount of injuries we’ve got we couldn’t take that risk.


“We’ve got a couple of guys returning and the international boys as well – Matteo [Minozzi], Thomas Young and Robin Hislop who are all injury free.”


Wasps have endured a tough start to the season and sit 10th in the Premiership table having lost four of their opening seven league matches much to the frustration of head coach Blackett.


He said: “We’ve had a couple of games this year where we’ve been frustrated – in the first-half against Harlequins we played right up there if not the best rugby this year, we were disappointed to only be 16-nil up at half-time.


“It was pretty gutting for everyone the way the second-half unfolded – over the last couple of weeks, we’ve given guys a rest, it’s given the coaches and myself time to review the season so far and pick up little bits where we can improve.


“We’ve got to make sure we take those opportunities and win those games – there’s some good periods within games and we’ve got to make sure we come out as the winning side as much as we possibly can.”


Wasps clash with Gloucester takes place on Friday, November 26 with kick-off at 7:45pm at the CBS Arena.


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