20th Jan, 2022

RUGBY UNION - Cruse: Wasps need to raise game against European giants Toulouse

TOM CRUSE believes Wasps need to raise their game even more against reigning European champions Toulouse this weekend.

 

Cruse returned to the starting lineup as Wasps recorded a memorable 16-13 win against the previously unbeaten Leicester Tigers at the Coventry Building Society Arena last weekend.

 

And Wasps return to European Champions Cup action tomorrow following a defeat at home to Munster and a postponement against the French side due to travel restrictions in their opening two matches.

 

The latter game has since been declared a draw with both teams taking two points from the fixture and Cruse believes Wasps need to raise their game again to come out on top

 

Cruse said: “Toulouse are a massive team, it’s a very different proposition to what we had against Leicester in terms of the way they’ll play.

 

“In terms of the challenge in front of us, it’s another massive challenge, we rose to the last one, it’s a positive, it’s another thing for us to get after.

 

“Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing we’ll see at the weekend but coming back in with the positive mindset we’ve got after the weekend, we’re all really excited.

 

“It’s exciting just to play in Europe let alone against a European giant, you want to test yourself against the best teams and that’s what we’ve got coming at the weekend, we’re looking forward to it.

 

“We’ll have to raise our game again from the weekend if we want to get a result against Toulouse.”

 

And Cruse was delighted to secure an emotional win against local rivals Leicester last weekend but insists Lee Blackett’s side can improve further.

 

Cruse added: “The mood is pretty good, it was quite an emotional game at the weekend, the nature of the win and the resilience we showed at the end, there’s been pretty good energy.

 

“It was a special win, there’s a lot of frustration in the group with regards to where we are at the moment particularly going into the game with Leicester in the form they were in.

 

“It can’t be a one off, we’ve shown how we can play and there’s so much we could have improved as well, that’s a real positive for us, the resilience, defence and togetherness at the end was amazing.

 

“There’s loads of tactical and technical stuff that we can get better at, the bar is there now and it’s a platform to build off as well.

 

“You’ve got to let the emotions go with it and it definitely helped at the weekend.”

 

Despite missing 17 first-team players through injury against the Tigers, Cruse praised the amazing togetherness within the Wasps squad and hopes their recent success can build momentum.

 

He said: “The togetherness is amazing, it’s really good, with injuries and what not, it provides opportunities, having young lads coming into the group and seeing them thrive is so good for the group.

 

“It builds confidence, it builds togetherness and, being not where we want to be, it gives us something to aim for, we’re in it together.

 

“When you’ve been through a bad spell of form and you pull out a couple of results like that, it builds momentum, particularly with lads coming back in from injury as well.

 

“I was injured for eight weeks which was tough, you feel like you can impact the group when you’re not playing and not winning games.

 

“It’s tough when you get on a roll of losing games and you’re desperate to win them, we’ve had a real good focus of putting things to bed, desperate to improve, desperate to get better and win a game.

 

“It’s really important to respect that win at the weekend, enjoy it, park it and move on, we’ve got to go and get another win now.”

 

Wasps host Toulouse on Saturday, January 15 with kick-off at 1pm at the CBS Arena.

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