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Close but no cigar

Can’t go 18 points behind away and expect to win

2 points better than 1

We nearly got there, we nearly got a win, but on the balance of play over the 80 minutes it feels like the right result. Warriors were stronger in the scrum for the majority, and spent 20 minutes at 14 men, yet still held out. Their supporters need to act with more class, booing the oppo kicker was frankly an embarrassment, but thankfully their team remained classy throughout.

We still look all at sea at times. Whether it is cheap penalties, unforced errors or moves breaking down, we just seem a half a second behind in thought and deed. Too many passes were forced and too many times we ran laterally. If you cannot score more points than your opposition when you have a man up you don’t really deserve to win the game.

On the positives as our bench came on our game improved, De Chavis was excellent, as was Frost, Alfie a level above. Porter and Wolfstenholme were good, but like Umaga both need to start making moves forwards in performance and control. Umaga to be fair was much improved, people may criticise how many times he took it to the line, got tackled and isolated. However if you look at the running lines of his supporting players they were far to flat, and making any pass to them impossible, just sitting that little bit deeper would of allowed much more gain in the wider channels.

We are hanging in there by our fingertips for top 6 now. I think any thoughts of going for silverware now are fanciful. Injuries have plagued us, and it is those that are injured and the length of the injuries that has pretty much torpedoed our season. I would love to be proved wrong, but all focus should be on really getting a squad experienced and established, with hopefully, our world class facilities making a difference that we need to reduce the injury toll.

Onto Europe we go.


Once a Wasp ALWAYS a Wasp.

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Morning all!
« on: Today at 06:48:56 AM »
Good morning all Waspies from a dark and quiet Guildford. Advent has begun, and I am officially in the Christmas mood as our Christmas tree and decorations go up today. I have noted with interest that many have done this in November this year, however there has been no premature treejaculation in our house, but come tea time it will certainly have the full festive feel. The question remains will it be us Waspies heading home with a 4-5 point present, or will it be a lump of coal that awaits us?

Sixways is a tough old place to get a result, and I am certain that Warriors will not be in the giving mood. There will be no gift wrapped win, and if we are to get a result today we are going to need to wrest it from them like a Boxing Day sale shopper.
Worcester are no push overs, and when I looked at their team yesterday you can see big performers throughout. But what struck me about their selection was balance, both in the starting XV and importantly on the bench. We however are at a ‘all hands to the pump’ situation. I never like a 6-2 bench split unless weather and playing surface dictates, as it narrows our options if things are not going well -this is not one of those times- And it would only take 1-2 knocks to starting players before combinations start to suffer as players shuffle out of position. Eddie Jones seems to think you can slot a player anywhere and they can perform. Yet he is wrong that numbers on a players back are inconsequential, each position has certain skills and attributes that if not mastered can leave you wanting. If that happens team performance dips and you are in trouble. Yet a team with Nizam and Alfie on the bench will always remain a threat.

You have to say Worcester are favourites today...We are going to have to fight for this one as we need to stay in touch with the top 6.

Come on you Wasps!!!


Once a Wasp ALWAYS a Wasp!  ;D

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Wasps v Gloucester: Post match thoughts.
« on: November 26, 2021, 09:49:41 PM »
Right result

Lacking control when it mattered

Midfield selection did not work.

Well we looked full of energy, nearly undeservedly stole the game, and it was great to see Alfie back. But that is where the positives end tonight. But our near last minute turnaround should not hide how inaccurate and disorganised we were for a large majority of the game. Yes we had a 9 on the wing and a wing at 13, but the midfield of Josh and Booj did not work, and so much went through those channels that we lost metres, position and points. Booj is a good squad man, but he was awful tonight in everything he did. It pains me to say it but we will not win anything with him in the centres, although he has improved over the seasons, it is not enough. Tonight required his leadership, he is a centre,  and his experience was needed to help guide Josh, but he went awol, and it ultimately cost us. We were left chasing the game from a distance and never had enough.

Jacob also made far too many errors, he is still too much good, great, poor and befuddling. He HAS to start becoming more consistently high performing. He has the talent and ability, he needs to start putting it all together now, that is his greatest challenge, and where his career trajectory will be decided.

As a collective as well we seem to be missing that leadership and control, that certain TCUP skill that top teams have when in the middle of battle. As the game became more unstructured we became more chaotic, our defence was poor tonight, and -maul aside- we struggled too much in the scrum.

We need to be better than this, and we now need to hang on until more players return. 


Once a Wasp ALWAYS a Wasp.

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Wasps v Harlequins: Post Match Thoughts.
« on: November 07, 2021, 06:44:04 PM »
Good first 40, bad second 40.

Beaten by the better of 2 underperforming teams.

Lose the set piece, lose the penalty count, lose the game.

First up, you cannot fault the effort of the lads, they did really give it their all, full of spirit. Unfortunately when you are relying heavily on loans and with a injury list such as ours, not all of them will be premiership level and there will be underlying fault lines that will eventually be exposed. Quins to their credit deserved the 5 points, we deserved a LBP, but sport is cruel.

We have to rest now, forget the premiership cup and put out the academy. Unfortunately I was hoping for a crack at Europe this season, but again with the injuries and 4 rounds only it may be better to abandon that as well. With our full team we could of fought on 2 fronts, where we are now the premiership has to take precedence. We have to survive to stay in touch of the top 6, and then as the injured start to return work from there.

We are only 7 rounds in, but it could be that ours will be a season of "If only" given our injuries, and it this uncontrollable element that is controlling our fortunes. Qualification for Champions cup rugby next year and a outside shout for top 4 would be an exceptional result.


Once a Wasp ALWAYS a Wasp.

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Bath v Wasps: Post Match Thoughts.
« on: October 30, 2021, 05:12:41 PM »
Scrappy...but won

Could it of been different had it remained 15 v 15

Injuries AGAIN!!!

Our squad need to recognise that despite the win the performance was not good enough.

Its strange to be disappointed by a win, but todays performance, although scrappy and with a lot of heart. lacked control, precision and completed lacking in TCUP! Bath played some good rugby, and had us under the pump. Had Williams not earnt himself a red card with the reckless clear out of Gopps it could of been far different, indeed the momentum of the game was well in Baths favour at that time. Let us just hope Gopps is ok. In that regard let us also hope that Fifita and Robbo are ok as well, however I am not sure that will be the case, and we likely have two more on the long term injury list....and this list has become an absolute joke. I really hope our S&C are being looked at extremely closely as the rate of injuries is shocking.

But in the last 20 minutes we lacked any sort of plan or control, in the last 10 it was Bath who were down to 13 and then 14 for the last 2 minutes who controlled the game.

We have left without a TBP...which given the way the game went is unacceptable. Porter lost control when Bath were down to 13, he played what can be simply described as dumb rugby, kicking aimlessly when 23 had a 2 man advantage. Umaga never took control....Shields was too one took responsibility or leadership. However I will credit Willis as he was awesome once more (he is a player you build your team around), Bomber was everywhere as well. JTA, good moments littered with poor. Overall though this was a performance that should make not only us fans angry, but also Lee and the Coaches! The win should not hide the deficits exposed.

Next weekend against Harlequins could be very painful. Perhaps the best thing to do tonight is to get the beers in, get som music on, and the lads need a open and honest heart to heart, as if we are going to be pushing top 4 performances like this have to wheres my beer!


Once a Wasp ALWAYS a Wasp!


Wasps Rugby Discussion / A new dawn!
« on: October 27, 2021, 10:48:20 PM »
Our first few games demonstrated our defensive soft underbelly had been turned into something more muscular, something more resistant...less chocolate fireguard, more resistant barricade. Yet by round five, like a garrison under constant shell and shot, our numbers had dwindled. The majority of our generals had taken hits, yet the line was holding....And then came Saracens looking to pillage and plunder! What did they face? Well the black and gold line had some more than capable Captains, a few regulars and a large contingent of reserves and conscripts. No one -not even the supportive legions- gave them a chance to hold back the tide. Although the points were captured, those Saracens could not take away that which really mattered, that which makes pride, determination, resilience and identity was not only held on to, but set in concrete.

We have taken the knocks, but the more you knock us down the stronger we become! It is simply reinforcing that which we already know. We are forever! that which attacks us reignites us! We go forward in the knowledge that a new dawn will only lead to a brighter and never ending day!

And now we face Bath, a team beset with the injured in battle numbers that is matched only by ourselves. Whilst they are manning the barricades we have rested reinforcements returning. However it is the new dawn factor that currently differentiates those from the spa to us from the nest, not only in performance but in fortitude! Beware a injured Wasp they say! I say beware everyone as these Wasps are only just getting started!! We may of lost the recent battle, however we are going to win the war! we are stronger! WE ARE WASPS!


Once a Wasp ALWAYS A Wasp!

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Saracens V Wasps: Post Match Thoughts.
« on: October 24, 2021, 04:55:18 PM »
Unfamiliarity leads to lack of unity

Kept trying for every second

Injuries have decimated us.

First off, hats off to a fully loaded Saracens. Ruthless, effective. That many caps and that much time together was always going to be too much for us. However equally I will also say hats off to our team...They kept at it from minute 1 to minute 80, and did us all proud.

Unfortunately injuries have once more appeared with a frightening regularity, that what has already led us to put a mix and match team together disrupted the already disrupted! And that leads me to my main point. Rugby is a team game, and at this level it needs every player being on the same page, understanding their role and that of their team mates. With this you can go from defence to attack, work as a unit and know what you need to do. When you select this week as we have then there is not that unity, that understanding there. There was never going to be as there was never enough time both on the training field, and also in match play, to create that.

There are things to be pleased with. Gopps just keeps going. Carr looked good. Kibirige was rapid. However Sholtz is a major problem. No professional forward should have to be pulled after 30 minutes and out on his feet. His fitness is embarrassing, and unless that changes rapidly we need to terminate his contract as fast as possible. He should be ashamed of himself to be in the state he is.

But lets be honest, this was a battle we were never looking to win. We are looking towards Bath and next week is our next goal. The season is long and we need all our players coming back. But our S&D need to really assess how they are preparing our players as the injuries are just to high and too decimating.


Once a Wasp ALWAYS a Wasp. 

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Time to draw a line!
« on: October 21, 2021, 02:07:12 AM »
Maybe we have injuries, maybe we have players out....maybe we have had to deal with the cr*p that our tenants have thrown at us over the years since we moved to Coventry. Equally we have also had to accept humility in defeat and also in circumstance..but no longer! No longer will we simply sit back, no longer will we take what comes!

Maybe we don't have all out players available and taken some pretty big hits over the years....but enough is enough! Its time we started to set our own destiny, its time we showed every other team what it really means to wear the black and gold...and what it truly means to represent Wasps!

No one gives us a chance this weekend at Sarries.....Well I say f*** them! Anyone who adorns the black and gold is a Wasp...and will always be so! I have had enough of politeness, I have had enough of acceptance...Its time we took the reigns, its time we started to dominate! to make our own destiny! Its time to show everyone in rugby that we are Wasps!!!...and it starts Sunday!!

Am I pumped for this game......your damn right I am!! I am angry, I have had enough, we are better.....and I am a Wasp!

Lets go hunting Saracens, and then every other team!!!


Once A Wasp ALWAYS a Wasp!

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Wasps v Exeter: Post Match Thoughts
« on: October 16, 2021, 05:08:37 PM »
The lads did themselves proud

Small margins can cost you tight games

We have a squad that can compete with the very best.

Yes we were under the pump today, but we lost to a near fully loaded Exeter team that have had far much more time together as a unit over many years. Yet every one of the lads gave their all, and we are getting a squad together who are becoming much competitive. Our injury list is huge, but the ones on it are going to have their work cut out to take a spot back, and that's exactly as it should be as this is how standards rise and how you begin that journey to success.

Today will hurt the boys, but when they reflect on this they will see the evolution of our team...the defence was immense and it took Exeter giving absolutely their all to get across and get the win, that is something we have not had for so long. Of course I am disappointed with the loss, but when you can see something very special developing from this you feel so much better.

Now for the lads to get into the changing room and enjoy a beer and each others company!


Once a Wasp ALWAYS a Wasp.

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Morning all!
« on: October 16, 2021, 06:16:04 AM »
A very very good morning to all Waspies from a still dark and quiet Guildford! Even the lark briefly opened one eye to see what I was doing awake at this time, but an early night and excitement about today’s game over-rode any melatonin floating around my body, thus the coffee is on the go, the dog is to be walked and then it is getting ready to see our lads run out at the CBS to take on Baxter’s Chiefs.

Let’s get the elephant in the room out the way. I for one am fully supportive of our clubs stance that it has taken this week. It was an informed and measured piece and recognises that this is a problem that requires unanimity and joint working to resolve. When important subjects like this are raised you are going to see arguments from both sides, yet it is important that respect is shown to each other’s points and healthy debate occurs, in order to find a resolution that reflects what should be all of our core values of respect of all cultures, inclusivity, equality and diversity.

Now to the game! You know with Baxter’s Chiefs that you have a team of quality, who play a highly effective game with a wonderful measure of control at the set piece, power in the forwards and pace in the backs. It is to his and Exeter’s credit that they have been in 6 consecutive finals, and have won this tournament and Europe as well. You do not achieve this without consistency in performance at the highest level, and that is exactly what we will be facing when we take on a very strong Chiefs team today.

Wherever you look their are interesting battles. Can Booj martial Slade, will the impressive Simmonds beat our ever improving a highly capable Tom at 8? How will our new front row of Hislop, Frost and JTA stand up against a formidable Hepburn, LCD and Williams? Also the battle of the 9s in Maunder v Robbo & also when Hougaard makes his debut for us and faces off against Hidalgo-Clyne. Our ever impressive list of injuries to hugely important players seems to be our constant albatross, but our team are developing a fortitude in performance, a hunger in defence whilst retaining that attacking mindset. This is a league that needs everyone from the whole squad and coaches performing and we are starting to realise that potential.

For me it all comes down to who imposes their game plan today…and whilst the lads are giving their all, let’s make sure they can hear us Waspies in the stands supporting them all the way! It would be great to enjoy my curry main tonight with a winning side!  ;D

Come on you Wasps!


Once a Wasp ALWAYS a Wasp!

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Wasps v Northampton: Post Match Thoughts.
« on: October 10, 2021, 05:02:04 PM »
7 Days is a long old time in rugby

Just as enjoyable as Friday nights fare

Winning builds a winning mentality.

First off let our thoughts and hopes go to Gaskall, a horrible looking injury and may be a season ender for him (but let us hope not). It certainly took a shine off our win. But what a deserved win that was. This was a fully loaded Saints team, and they went hard at it...and that is what made it such a pleasing game. Fridays Harlequins v Bristol was attacking at its finest, however we showed wonderful attacking flair AND determined defence and set piece. I have said before if you want to win things you need to love defence and the set piece as well as attack, and we look to be getting much better at this.
What also pleases me is the performances of the squad! We have a horrible injury list with many key players out, but we have a squad who can take it to anyone....and you really need this to keep standards high, and make those players returning realise they are going to have to give their all to get the shirt back.

Its early into the season, but we are seeing resilience, and that pleases me so much! However Gabby get your tackle height down, and Jacob, well played sir, but keep working on those kicks as those points will be so important in tight games that will undoubtedly come! Now where's my beer?


Once a Wasp ALWAYS a Wasp.

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Newcastle v Wasps: Post Match Thoughts.
« on: October 02, 2021, 05:51:40 PM »
If your nose is in front with 2 minutes to go, do not let the oppo pinch it.

Kingston Park remains a tough location to get a result.

Need to find an 80 minute performance.

First off let me congratulate Falcons, they played a tough game, and when the chance arrived to get the win they took it...fully deserved and there are no arguments from me about the result. Thanks to finding a stream I managed to watch the second forty after listening to the first on the radio. And as much as Jacob is huge talent, he has to learn to put his body on the line. WIth less than 2 minutes to go and attacking the Falcons 22 with a man advantage you need to make it count. Do not get me wrong Robsons pass from the base of the ruck was poor, but it was Umagas fumbling and not prepared to fall on the ball when the knock on inevitably occurred, which at least would leave Falcons with a scrum rather than us scrambling in defence, that cost us this tie. Tight games come down to tight margins, and this will be a lesson hard learnt by the young man as it was an error I would not of got away with in Surrey 4, let alone premiership

Some old problems reared their head again today as well, discipline needs to be far better, ball carriers need better support to prevent turn overs, and important kicks -albeit in a swirly wind- need to be made. There are definite improvements in defence which is pleasing, the maul performed better. The scrum wobbled unfortunately, and we really ought to of taken advantage of the red card (and it was as clear a red as you can demonstrate, he had no need to be anywhere near Gopps eye area, and I hope a long ban follows).

But when all the ingredients are added together the result is a deserved 4 point win for Falcons and a 1 point LBP for us. Much needs to be worked on this week to make sure we bounce back with a win against Saints at the CBS! Now wheres my beer?


Once a Wasp ALWAYS a Wasp!  :D

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Wasps v Bristol: Post match thoughts.
« on: September 25, 2021, 04:57:29 PM »
So good to see us put in a defensive shift like that!

TBP, 6 tries and 5 point win in the bag!

We’re back in our stadium once more!

Tom Willis take a bow son!

I did not see that coming, of course we have lots of work one’s, maul defence, discipline (Shieldsey we’re looking at you here), but for a first hit out that was a cracking confidence building win and our performance a determination for the whole 80 bodes so well. A key lesson today, if you want to win things you have to love defence as much as attack. Today is such a key example of that!

But above all, and Make no odds about it, this pandemic has taught me one thing, and that is to really take nothing for granted. So to see and hear our fellow Waspies cheering our lads on is, and always will be, a wonderful thing to hear!

So my first beer tonight is tilted in thanks not only to our lads and coaches, but also to all of you!


Once a Wasp ALWAYS a Wasp!

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Morning all!
« on: September 25, 2021, 07:43:51 AM »
Oh yes!!! It feels so good to be saying this once more! And for the first time for our 2021/2022 season morning all from Guildford! The weather may be grey but my mood certainly is not. My new wasps shirt is adorned, coffee is on the go and the dog is impatiently awaiting our walk.

How good does it feel to know our lads will be running out at the CBS with us in black and gold cheering them on! Every season our league gets more competitive, there are no easy games, and certainly they do not come much easier than Pat Lambs Bristol who will be hurting from their defeat to Saracens on the opening night.
There are battles right across the board with this, Bristol like to play a fast, attack from anywhere game that we do. However it will be who controls the game in the tight and set piece first and foremost that will gain the edge. Kicking will also be scrutinised, far to often teams kick aimlessly, and it harms you when this occurs. Kicking is a wonderful weapon when deployed correctly, a 50/22 is useful, but a hard fought up n under or a kick that finds touch so the oppo always have to start playing from in their own half is far far better than kick tennis down the middle.
For me Bears have the edge, there are so many unknowns for us this year for me to sit comfortably in the hope we will win. However it is our opening game in our rugby stadium with us Waspies back. Throw that together and suddenly any result is possible.

So the moment I have been looking forward to all summer has come!



Once a Wasp ALWAYS a Wasp.

Wasps Rugby Discussion / Who’s streaming rugby this term?
« on: September 16, 2021, 06:55:27 AM »
Unfortunately living in Guildford means I cannot attend the number of home matches that I would like to, thus does anyone know which websites (likely a betting one) will be live streaming the games this year?

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