RUGBY UNION: COACH Andy Titterrell praised the strength and depth of the current Wasps team despite seeing them lose 22-31 at home to Ospreys in the final pool round of the Anglo Welsh Cup on Sunday.
In front of an impressive crowd of 11,409, a second string Wasps side at one point led with 22-17 with ten minutes remaining, but two late tries earned the visitors a bonus point victory and denied Wasps a losing bonus point themselves.
“I think we had an improvement from last week,” said Titterrell. “Individually, the players who took to the field stepped up to the mark and played some good rugby but I think as a team, we were naïve in patches and that ultimately cost us the game.
“It’s a great learning experience, but there comes a point where we can’t continue to have that learning process. Some of those young players you would like to think will begin to break into the first team on a regular basis, so as long as they continue to show improvements we’ll be happy.”
The game saw a number of key first-team personnel given some valuable game-time and Titterrell said he was pleased to see a number of players returning from injury perform well.
He also reserved special praise for Carlo Festuccia who made his first appearance since re-joining Wasps from Zebra Rugby.
“It was great to see Carlo Festuccia back out there and I thought he played exceptionally well, especially considering he hasn’t played a great deal recently,” Titterrell.
“He came back into the squad this week relatively late, but it was like he’d never left. It was great to have him back and he has fitted in perfectly.
“It was good to see Simon McIntyre back with a little bit more game-time than he had last week and I thought he did exceptionally well. I thought James Gaskell in the back row certainly played well, especially considering he was out of position at number six.
“It was good to see Jake Cooper-Woolley come on at half-time and get 40 minutes of rugby under his belt after being out for a while.
“In terms of injuries, we’re in a pretty good place and we have a very competitive squad where everyone wants to play.”