Saturday 16 November 2019

Willie Le Roux error not a turning factor - Wasps boss after loss at Leinster

Willie Le Roux, pictured right, lost control of the ball as he dived over the try-line
Willie Le Roux, pictured right, lost control of the ball as he dived over the try-line

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young insisted Willie Le Roux's error was not a turning point in Saturday's 32-17 Champions Cup quarter-final defeat at Leinster.

Leinster were let off the hook in the 24th minute of an action-packed encounter when Wasps' South African winger Le Roux lost control of the ball as he dived over the whitewash.

Speaking in relation to the incident, Young admitted it would have released some of the tension on his charges, but did not feel it was a pivotal moment.

"Willie, obviously, it's going to be well documented... If he had put that ball down, we could have been 10-8 up. We would have been pretty pleased with that, because we were under pressure," Young said.

"I think it may have calmed us down a little bit, but I know a lot of people will point to that as a turning factor. It certainly didn't help us, but I'm not saying it was a turning factor because we had 55 minutes to play. We had plenty of time to turn that around."

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen, meanwhile, hailed the influence of 21-year-old full-back Joey Carbery following his side's impressive triumph at the Aviva Stadium.

The versatile Carbery was named man of the match, and Cullen praised the courage displayed by the rising Ireland international against the Aviva Premiership pace-setters.

"Joey is very, very brave," Cullen said. "He's not afraid to try things. We will have a look back at the game and go through it with him. He's hungry to learn and he wants to get better.

"I'm delighted for him today. It was a good performance. Twenty-one years of age... It has come very quickly, but he is definitely a talent."

The hosts built a commanding 25-3 advantage thanks mainly to first-half tries from Isa Nacewa, Jack Conan and Robbie Henshaw.

Wasps raised their game in a frantic second half as Christian Wade and Jimmy Gopperth both touched down but, with eight points between the sides, a 73rd-minute try from Leinster replacement Fergus McFadden booked the Irish province's place in the last four of the competition.

"In the second half, it was just disappointing that we didn't respect the ball well enough at times," Cullen added.

"You see Wade's try, the way he finished it. They score again with Jimmy (Gopperth), and it's an eight-point game. I thought we showed good composure post that, and played the game in the right area, came up with a couple of good scores."

PA Media

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