Sport Leinster Rugby

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Toulon defeat has Thompson pumped up for Leinster visit

Published 22/01/2016 | 02:30

Guy Thompson stretches over to touch down against Toulon (Getty)
Guy Thompson stretches over to touch down against Toulon (Getty)

The disappointment that Wasps felt at the death against Toulon last weekend pales in comparison to what Leinster have had to endure for the majority of their pool campaign.

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A last-gasp Drew Mitchell try snatched victory for the French giants but Wasps will quickly have to pick themselves up for the visit of an in-form Leinster side tomorrow.

Guy Thompson's reputation has been growing with Wasps over the last couple of seasons and it looked like his try would have sealed the victory for his side at the Stade Felix Mayol but they were cruelly denied.

Leinster will be eager to build on recent performances while Wasps are still very much in contention of advancing to the knockout stages and Thompson knows that his side can build on last week's heartbreak.

"There is a reason why Toulon have been champions the last three years running," Thompson said.

"We've got this next week and we've still got a great opportunity to go through. So we can't dwell on it too much, we've got to dust ourselves off and get ready to welcome Leinster to the Ricoh.

"I don't think I've ever felt as sick in my life. You'd much rather be on the pitch (Thompson was forced off with an injury for the closing stages) for those last few minutes, so that you feel like you can do something to try to help the team, but it was one of those games where it's not over until it's over.

"Toulon are a fantastic side, full of international experience and world-class players, and we knew for those last three minutes they were going to come at us.

"We can't dwell on it, it is a game that we might have won and perhaps we should've closed it out, but it's Toulon and they are a great team," Thompson added.

"Rugby's a funny game, anything can happen, we can't really think about what's going to happen outside of our game.

"We need to focus on Leinster, because we know what a strong team they are and the world class players they have as well."

Director of rugby, Dai Young echoed his player's sentiments and admitted that he had always ear-marked tomorrow's clash as a potential pool decider.

Form

Wasps may have yet to hit top form domestically but on the European front, they, alongside Saracens, have been flying the flag for the English clubs.

"I always thought we would have a decider against Leinster but I don't think many other people though, it would be," Young maintained.

"A few of the boys needed picking up after that game (at Toulon) because they were so disappointed. I was heartbroken for them.

"It may be enough to top the group, it may not, but I'd like to think we'll go through either way.

"That was our goal, to advance and we still have a chance.

"We have an opportunity to advance out of the pool stages when nobody would have given us a chance but it's going to be difficult.

"Beating Leinster once is one thing but to beat them twice would be a major step forward. Hopefully we can finish the job."

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