Wasps’ wonderful winning run came to an end as Sale Sharks powered their way to a 20-11 Ricoh Arena victory.
Head coach Lee Blackett had secured five successive bonus point wins heading into the Tuesday night encounter – but for the third time this season, Steve Diamond got the better of Wasps to leapfrog them into third in the table.
Below is everything the Wasps boss said after the match.
Where did it go wrong?
“I just felt it wasn’t our day. Our discipline was poor. It’s going to be a good one for us to learn of. We’re going to have to learn to adapt to referees a little bit better. We definitely came out completely on the wrong side of the discipline. In these conditions it was difficult to play. Generally the team that has the better discipline comes away with the result.”
Managing the referee
“We’re bitterly disappointed. You’ve not gone from being a great team last week to a poor team now, we will treat it as a bad day at the office and just learn a couple of things from it. The big thing being discipline and how to manage the referee. I thought we could’ve managed the game a little bit better as well.
“We gave far too many penalties away across the board. Definitely within the scrum. We gave a few away early on in the maul and it gave them footholds, it allowed them to build pressure, scoreboard pressure. We showed glimpses but not enough to get the result we wanted.”
The winning run is over…
“It was always going to happen. We’re not a great team one week then a poor team and it all goes. The confidence will be there. We will treat it as a bad day at the office. We will learn a few things and make sure we’re better for this experience.”
Sale rested some stars but still got the result
“It doesn’t matter what side rocks up. It’s a tough league, anyone can beat anyone, you just know you have to be at your absolute best like we were in the Northampton game. Last week [Worcester], especially in the second half, we were at our best and got the result. Second half performance tonight wasn’t the greatest. Probably got what we deserved. Hopefully we can put it behind us and go out and beat Bath.”
Three games in eight days – has it taken its toll?
“It was good until tonight! It’s been enjoyable, I thought we were in a really good place, I thought we were in a good place heading into tonight. We get on the wrong end of the discipline the result comes off the back of that. We will fix it.”
Scoring a late try through Jack Willis
“Credit to the boys for the way they fought back to potentially get that point. We missed out on it, but we didn’t come here for a losing bonus point, we were looking for a minimum four points from this game. We will move on and try and get those four points down at Bath.”
“Jeff [Toomaga-Allen] came off, he’s the only one we will have question marks over. I think all the rest were niggles.”
Teenager Charlie Atkinson made his Wasps debut from the bench
“It was great to see Charlie, an 18-year-old, come on. I thought he went really well during that period. That’s probably the only pleasing thing to come from the game.
“He is someone we looked at last season. He has just come out of school. Even though he was going to stay in the senior academy, he was one we wanted to bring up from the 18-year-olds and get that exposure in the first team. We’ve given him that exposure. It’s not about just giving young kids an opportunity, you have to earn it, Charlie has earned it. He has trained really well and he has got where he has because he deserves to be there.
“It’s really pleasing, he’s got plenty to work on, he’s a young kid, but it was pleasing to get him out there and enjoy his first Premiership appearance.”
“I thought they were good at the breakdown. On the day they managed the referee better, I know they were on the wrong end last weekend, this week it is us.”
“It’s something that has gone really well the last couple of weeks. We’ve got to give Sale a lot of credit for what they brought.
“Let’s not panic, we saw last week, Northampton go away to London Irish and get penalty tries from their scrum, and we did really well against them there the previous week. We don’t become a bad scrum overnight.”