As long as Wasps can take a sliver of consolation from the sucker punch of losing the final in extra time of the match to their rivals, Exeter, then it can be found in the list of Premiership winners where six of the previous nine winners lost in the previous year’s final.
It’s now Exeter’s turn this year, twelve months after failing to turn up in the first half of their 28-20 lossto Saracens.
As unbearable as the experience of losing a final seems, there is no better preparation or motivation for the following campaign.
Definitely, seeing the stage fright in Wasps’ performance was easy. Professional performers like Jimmy Gopperth, Danny Cipriani and James Haskell made the most basic of mistakes / errors:in the case of Gopperth dropping the ball when seized by indecision over whether to kick or pass.
Though, Dai Young’s team recovered by force either side of half-time, the poor start eventually cost them the chance of victory in normal time.
“Experience obviously adds to it, and we have heard on many occasions from some of the senior players from Saracens that a lot of their successes over the past couple of years have been built on the heartaches of being defeated in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals,” Young said.
He stated that he would not however want to go through all that. However, he also noted that if that would be the condition for winning, then he would not mind.
Young has been praised for eschewing the option of going to uncontested scrums once both his specialist tight heads, Phil Swainston and Marty Moore, were taken away by injury.
Exeter’s winning points in extra time came from a scrum penalty against Matt Mullan.