The Wasps director of rugby is looking for better discipline from his side
London Wasps director of rugby Dai Young has warned his players that discipline will be vital in deteming whether or not they reach the semi-finals of the Amlin Challenge Cup against Leinster on Friday night.
Wasps have been undone in their last two home games with costly penalties and yellow cards contributing to their first two league losses of the season at Adams Park. Now Young wants his players to learn the hard lessons of the defeats agianst Northampton Saints and Saracens to stay in the hunt for a European title.
"We've been on the back foot defending quite a lot in our last few games. When you are doing that for large parts of a game you end up conceding penalties. In a one off cup game you need to keep everyone on the field and how we carry ourselves in our discipline could be the difference between winning and losing," said Young, who guided Cardiff Blues to the Amlin title in 2010.
Despite the disappointment of the last few results, Young says the lure of cup rugby means there's a huge buzz around the squad and the club this week.
"It will be a huge occasion in front of probably our biggest crowd this season and you've got two clubs out there with massive history in Europe so it's very exciting for everyone involved. Our fans have had a few lean years in terms of hosting those big European nights and I think everyone is really looking forward to it on and off the field," he added.
"Leinster were in a very tough Heineken Cup pool and suffered with injuries to key players at times. Even though they have a few missing this weekend, they are still a formidable side.
"You don't achieve what they have without having a very well rounded team and we are not under any illusions about them. They are a very innovative side and they create plenty of chances so it doesn't get any tougher really."
Young added that there was plenty for his side to work on this week as they seek to bounce back from a period of patchy form, following a hugely improved season on last year.
"We've been struggling to play beyond three or four phases and when you come up against top teams you rarely score in early phases, you've got to stretch team's defences and keep hold of the ball so that's something we certainly have to improve on," he said.
"We've got to go back to basics really and just play in the right areas like we had been doing well earlier in the season and not find ourselves defending for most of the game and then getting tired and conceding penalties. In saying that, we are also confident that we have enough quality to win the game.
"We know always that if we are in a game with ten minutes or so go to that we have the ability, with the players we have in the team, to finish opportunities and win games. It's exciting for the players going into it."
The directors of ERC voted unanimously at a Board meeting to postpone all decisions including the release of further instalments of ERC's distributable central revenues to the six shareholder countries until 19 February next when the Board will meet again to reconsider the issue.