RUGBY UNION - Blackett: Wasps needed to take opportunities - The Coventry Observer

19th Aug, 2022

RUGBY UNION - Blackett: Wasps needed to take opportunities

LEE Blackett felt his side needed to “take more opportunities” after Wasps surrendered a 16-point lead in their defeat against Harlequins at the CBS Arena this past weekend.


Wasps were in scintillating form in the opening 40 minutes as Gabriel Oghre’s try – along with 11 points from Jacob Umaga – had the home side in a commanding 16-0 lead at half-time.


However, reigning Gallagher Premiership Harlequins produced a devastating second-half display to run out 26-16 winners thanks to two tries from Luke Northmore and further efforts from Tyrone Green and Scott Steele.


The hosts spurned several glorious openings to add to their lead in the first period with Will Porter guilty of throwing a forward pass in the build-up to Josh Bassett’s try that was disallowed by the TMO right on the stroke of half-time.


And Wasps were made to pay for their missed chances in the second-half much to the frustration of head coach Blackett.


Blackett said: “At this level – you’ve got to take your opportunities in the first-half, and we’re going to review what we did in the second-half, we need to take some lessons from it.


“At half-time, I was happy with the majority of what we were doing – we just left so many opportunities out there, we needed to be further ahead.


“We played really well, we played some great stuff at times but you’ve got to take more of those opportunities – the try that gets disallowed on the stroke of half-time – they’re crucial moments.


“It was vital we started well in the second-half – we know what Quins are about – we spoke at half-time [about Quins being] a team that comes back.


“That first score was vital in the second-half just to get some control but we lacked control in the second-half – our discipline and errors cost us – we didn’t have enough to repel them.


“We just have to get on with it, see if we can take any learning from anything and move on.”


Young prop Zac Nearchou replaced Robin Hislop just past the half hour mark and Blackett believes the youngster will learn a lot having made just his second Premiership appearance.


Blackett added: “He’s [Zac] going to be better for the experience – that’s the Premiership – we put him in, he’s gone really well in the Championship this year.


“He’s probably not played too much because of Covid – you look at his age and it’s been a tough 18 months for him – he did some good things around the field.”


And with Wasps taking a break from league action over the next couple of weeks – Blackett insists players in need of game time will get the nod for their Premiership Rugby Cup fixtures.


He said: “Any guys that are lacking in game time will play – the guys coming into the squad need game time, they need to be able to get out there.


“If you’re calling on people that haven’t played for quite a while it can be a bit of a shock to the system – we’ll put them out with a lot of youngsters, guys that are playing week in week out won’t really play.”


Wasps travel to Newcastle Falcons in their opening cup match on Saturday, November 13 with kick-off at 3pm at Kingston Park.

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