9:20am Saturday 10th March 2012
By Alan Feldberg
WASPS hold all the aces in the mad scrap for safety at the bottom of the Aviva Premiership.
Newcastle stole a march on them with an unexpected two-point haul against Harlequins a week ago, but less than 24 hours later Wasps ended four-months without a win by beating London Irish to stretch the gap between themselves and the Falcons to eight points.
With just five games left – the last of which is against Newcastle at Adams Park – Wasps would have to do something pretty dire to go down from here.
In fact, if they can beat the Falcons on May 5, Newcastle would need to win three of their next four games to have a chance – and even then they’d need Wasps to lose all of their next four.
Complicated? Wasps director of rugby Dai Young has simplified it for players and fans alike.
He said: “We’re certainly nowhere near to being out of the woods, we know that. It would be naive to think the job is done. The job is not done.”
Young points to Newcastle’s win over London Irish and their draw with Quins as proof of life in the old dog yet.
He said: “Newcastle were very unlucky not to get that win [against Harlequins]. They’re a very good team and I can see them winning some of those games that are left.
“So we’ve got to carry on winning.
“I’m not sitting here hoping Newcastle lose. It’s not pleasant to be under these sorts of pressures and whether it’s us or them, you don’t wish it on anybody.
“But we have to control what we can control. It’s been a difficult couple of months, but if we get the wins it’s in our hands. It’s up to us.”
Wasps edged out Irish thanks to the control of their pack and the accuracy of Nick Robinson’s goal-kicking, but Young insists it’s a result that’s been on the cards.
He said: “Against Sarries and Exeter we looked like a team and the last two or three weeks we’ve been very close.
“There were positives there, but the longer the run goes the more that confidence seeps out of a team. They’re only human and if we’d lost we would have been reminded it was ten on the trot.
“It was important we got this result and hopefully we can build on it now.”
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