19th Jan, 2022

RUGBY UNION - Blackett: Wasps need to right wrongs against confident Tigers

WASPS Head Coach Lee Blackett admitted his side need to right the wrongs of last week ahead of a daunting match against local rivals Leicester Tigers.


The Coventry-based club were beaten 26-18 at Sale Sharks in their last outing as they dropped to 10th in the Gallagher Premiership table.


Leicester have won all 15 of their competitive matches this season and victory against Wasps would equal a club-record run of victories and match a Premiership record of 12 successive wins.


And Blackett insists his side must improve if they to end the Tigers impressive run of wins and hopes Wasps can be the first club to beat Leicester this season.


Blackett said: “The motivation is about fixing up quite a few wrongs from last week, parts of game were moving well, we’d gone three weeks on the bounce scoring 30 points, we were poor last week.


“Our main focus is on trying to get as many match points as we possibly can, it’s a dangerous game if you just concentrate on Leicester.


“Our motivation comes from the fact we’re at home against a team just around the corner from us.


“Everyone is probably saying the same, it would make it a little bit nicer [if we were the first team to beat them].”


However, despite the local rivalry between the two clubs, Blackett was full of praise for Leicester’s remarkable start to the season.


He added: “Leicester started to turn a corner last season and they’ve clicked into gear, teams like that, when they go on those runs, they find a way of winning right at the death of games.


“I’ve been at this club when that’s happened, even when you’re losing with a couple of minutes to go you’re still confident.


“That’s where they are, they’re a really confident team, confident in what they’re doing, they’ll challenge us in different ways with the way they kick.


“They put a lot of emphasis around their kicking game and about building territory and the set-piece, they’re the two key areas.”


The defeat at Sale marked Wasps seventh loss in their last eight fixtures and Blackett feels his side now need to improve defensively having impressed in attack in recent weeks.


He added: “We were disappointed, we were second best throughout, we started well but after that we lost far too many collisions and we became quite individual and started forcing things.


“We made far too many errors with the ball and we conceded a couple of soft tries, it’s something we’re addressing.


“At the start of the season we were going really well defensively, our attack was off a little bit and we were winning games through our defence.


“It seems to have gone the other way, we’ve spent a little bit more time on our attack after the Premiership Cup games and scored 30 points in three games back-to-back which is three try bonus points.


“We weren’t good enough on both sides of the ball at the weekend, Sale’s defence really got on top of us.”


Wasps clash with Leicester takes place on Sunday, January 9 with kick-off at 3pm at the Coventry Building Society Arena.


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