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Wasps hail the 'real momentum shift' that was crucial at Edinburgh

By PA
(Photo by PA)

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Head coach Lee Blackett praised his on-form forwards for leading Wasps into the semi-finals of the European Challenge Cup. The Gallagher Premiership side edged out Edinburgh 34-30 in a pulsating, topsy-turvy last-eight showdown at DAM Health Stadium, with Alfie Barbeary producing the game’s decisive moment with a 75th-minute try.

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Wasps, who squandered a big lead to draw 42-42 with London Irish last weekend, clung on in the closing moments as Edinburgh piled on the pressure. The Coventry outfit will now face Lyon or Glasgow in next weekend’s semi-final. “With a minute to go, it felt very much like last week,” said Blackett, reflecting on a frantic finale.

“I’m just really happy we came out the other side. I thought first half we didn’t start very well but the pack just started to get control and although we went in seven points down, towards half-time I felt there was a real momentum shift when we were on their line for what felt like about 10-15 minutes.

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“I’m pleased we found a way to win the game and reach the semi-final but it was a win built around the pack. There were plenty of things we weren’t at our best with but credit to the players for the way we got hold of the game.”

Blackett was thrilled his Wasps team were able to outgun an Edinburgh side who have been strong on home turf this term. “We had a couple of sloppy moments that gifted them points but Edinburgh are a really good attacking team and also defensively,” he said. “They had only lost one game here all season.

“If you had told me before the game Edinburgh were going to score 30 points I’d have told you there was no chance we were going to win that game, so credit to the boys for scoring that many points against a quality defence.”

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Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair was proud of the way his side performed but rued some costly mistakes at key moments. “I’m really proud of the effort and the way we’re trying to play but we just had moments that gave Wasps ins to the game, which made things difficult,” he said.

“I just loved the effort of the guys to stick in and the crowd being behind us but unfortunately we couldn’t push it through. There are lots of positive things and lots of things we’ll learn from. It was a great game for people to watch. The crowd were absolutely outstanding.”

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