Wasps’ attacking coach Paul Turner believes the margins between winning and losing will be small in Saturday’s clash with Bayonne. Both clubs have won their opening two games in their Challenge Cup group and the next two fixtures, between the two sides could prove decisive in determining the outcome of the group.
Turner appreciates that Bayonne “are a squad with some really special players who can take us on from anywhere”. He does however it seems have a plan to fight back. He feels that he can find the weak spots in Bayonne’s defence and encourage his team to exploit any opportunities that arise on Saturday. His belief is that if Wasps are to win the game they have to be accurate in their attacks when in their opponent’s territory.
Last weekend’s clash with Harlequins saw the Wasps achieve something no one else has come close to this season. They gave the Quins a run for their money, dominating possession and territory, but they failed to capitalise on their opportunities to score on visits to the opponents 22.
Turner has been targeting an improvement in the ability of his team to convert this pressure into points and Bayonne will provide a good opportunity for Wasps to demonstrate their improvement in the final stages of attacks. It is, unlike perhaps the Quins game, a game Wasps really could, perhaps should win.
If they can demonstrate a level of clinical finishing that seemed to be missing against Quins and has indeed been lacking from their season thus far Wasps could well pick up the two wins they need to secure pole position in their pool and more or less wrap up qualification for the knockout stages.
If Wasps can improve their finishing there is every chance of a push on in both this competition and in the league. With the Premiership being so tight this year and the potential Wasps have shown, there is a real chance of a surge towards the play offs for a team who have struggled in recent years.