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'We wanted to send out a statement, wanted to almost shock them with our physicality'

By Online Editors
(Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)

Wasps boss Lee Blackett was beaming following his team’s five-try, 34-5 demolition of reigning Premiership champions Exeter ten weeks after they agonisingly gave second best to the Chiefs in the 2019/20 at Twickenham. Exeter came into Saturday’s round five match at The Ricoh on top of the table following four bonus-point wins from four in the new 2020/21 season.


However, they were given a second-half lesson as Wasps transformed an 8-0 interval lead into a comprehensive 29-point triumph with a power-packed closing 30 minutes.

The result lifted Wasps into fourth place on the table, just six points behind Exeter who now host Bristol, who are joint top with them on 20 points, in the next round at Sandy Park next weekend.  

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Wasps out-half Jacob Umaga guests on RugbyPass All Access
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Wasps out-half Jacob Umaga guests on RugbyPass All Access

Speaking in the aftermath of their thumping win over Chiefs, Wasps boss Blackett told BT Sport: “We wanted to send out a statement today physically. That was a massive focus, we wanted to almost shock them with our physicality and I was really pleased. 

“In the first half, the frustrating thing was we put a bit of ball down when we had opportunities but our physicality was right up there. 

“We know they were missing a few key guys for them up front but still this Exeter team went to Harlequins and put 30 points on them at the start of the season. They put 40 points on at home to Bath. This was a good Exeter team no matter what side they put out but we felt selection wise we have not often gone with (James) Gaskell at six but we went with as big a pack as we possibly could and we wanted to take them on there.”


Exeter boss Rob Baxter refuted that Wasps had done anything to shock the Chiefs, the coach instead accepting his team didn’t play well and would never have deserved to win a game where the penalty count was 16-5 and one yellow card against them. 

“I don’t think we were shocked,” said Baxter after hearing Blackett’s physicality comment. “We didn’t play well enough. There is a reality in rugby that it is a pretty honest sport and you tend to win games you deserve to win and you tend to lose games you deserve to lose. 

“That is what I said to the lads, that is what today felt like. We didn’t deserve to win because we didn’t play well enough… I have to say, ‘Well done, Wasps’. They created issues for us today and capitalised on their opportunities way better than we did. 

“They stopped us at times when we expect to be better and score and once the scoreboard opened up they capitalised on that as well. A lot of credit to them. Our job is to have a look at ourselves but we are certainly not in any kind of panic.


“I’m not trying to find sort of clever reason why we lost. We will look at the basics of our game and we will improve them… you just want to approach them head-on and be honest about them and that is what we will do.” 


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