Dallaglio salutes courageous Wasps

Wasps captain Lawrence Dallaglio hailed his side’s courage after upsetting the odds to be crowned European champions with a 25-9 victory over favourites Leicester on Sunday.

Wasps broke Leicester with first-half tries for Eoin Reddan and Raphael Ibanez after two cleverly-worked lineouts, setting the scene for a win that shattered the Tigers’ hopes of a third trophy to add to their EDF Energy Cup and Guinness Premiership successes.

Alex King, off target four times early on, found his range and kicked 15 points to put Wasps out of sight, while Andy Goode kicked three penalties for the Tigers.

Dallaglio told Sky Sports 2: “Everyone was talking about the Leicester guys but when you’re underdogs it pumps you up.

“We knew if we put Leicester under pressure, then it would be a tough game and everything worked really well.

“Everyone, to a man, was outstanding – Leicester are a great team and we feel very proud to have beaten them on the greatest stage of all.”

The 34-year-old number eight also hit back at critics of his side’s form this season.

“People say the lineout hasn’t worked well all season, well it worked pretty well today,” he added.

“People say the scrum hasn’t worked well all season, I’d say it worked well today.”

Dallaglio’s opposite number, former England captain Martin Corry, echoed Dallaglio’s sentiments.

“The first half hour was the key. Hats off to them, they were better than us. We set ourselves high standards,” he told Sky Sports.

“But when I look back I’m hugely proud – of wearing the shirt and of everyone representing the side, from the top man down to the bottom.

“It’s a season to be proud of.”

Wasps rugby director Ian McGeechan insisted he had wanted to see if Leicester would be “frightened” by the intensity of his team early on.

“The idea was to get stuck into the final,” said McGeechan. “We talked about the first 10 to 15 minutes and said we had to go full out and play at the level they had played at for the last few weeks. We wanted them to be frightened by the intensity of it. That got us into the game.

“We mixed the game up, not doing some of the things we’ve been doing and it worked well. It was a case of trying to mix and match when we were playing with the ball and when we were without it. We wanted to be as cute as we could be.”

He added: “There is a great mix of old and young and that told – the experience and the vibrancy in the team.”

 

365 Digital

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