10 DECEMBER 2019 | ROB SUTTON | 08:00
“Another defeat on the road – now Wasps must deliver in front of over 20,000 faithful fans to turn their season round” Edinburgh 31 Wasps 20
A weekend watching rugby in Edinburgh is something that should be on every rugby fan’s bucket list. The welcome extended to the travelling Wasps supporters was tremendous & a good time was had by all.
The only thing missing was a Wasps win & this is becoming a familiar problem in European competitions. Since winning in Italy against Zebre in January 2017, Wasps have lost their last 9 European away trips. They rarely looked like winning this one, Nizaam Carr’s late try making the final score closer than the game had been. Wasps have serious injury problems in the second row & this was ruthlessly exposed by a well coached Edinburgh side.
For a side that is struggling in attack, Wasps’ strength this season has been the set piece. If a side dominates this area of the game, Wasps will lose. This has been shown in the last two matches against Exeter & Edinburgh. The shining light so far this season for Wasps has been Jack Willis, who was once again immense at Murrayfield. His record this season now reads 4 tries in 9 appearances which will surely have Eddie Jones considering him for the Six Nations. It was great to see Thomas Young back fit & the opportunity to see him & Jack together could be crucial as Wasps look to get out of Gallagher Premiership trouble.
Mathematically, Wasps can still progress in the Challenge Cup but they are likely to need maximum points from the last three games & given this is a side that has lost 8 of their last 12 games, that seems unlikely. Focus then has to turn to the Premiership with a Christmas showdown with Harlequins looming ever closer. With fixtures against high flying Bristol & a Northampton side who I think are in prime position to be involved at Twickenham in June to follow, the Quins game is simply a must win.
Despite the time of year, it is worth remembering that the Premiership season is only five games old. There is time for Wasps to turn it round, but they need to start winning & fast or else along with Leicester they will be cut adrift at the foot of the Premiership table if as expected Saracens make up their points deduction.
Once again, the Wasps faithful will turn out in force at the Ricoh with over 20,000 tickets sold. It is now time for the players to deliver.
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