Jack Willis’ wise half-time words were highlighted by head coach Lee Blackett as Wasps came from behind to secure a European Challenge Cup semi-final.

Wasps were camped in Edinburgh’s 22 at the end of the first half with their pack firmly on top but couldn’t land a killer blow as they trailed 17-10 at the break.

Tries from props Biyi Alo and Tom West after the interval got the Black and Golds ahead on the scoreboard before a late momentum swing saw their Scottish hosts edge ahead with five minutes remaining.

But Wasps held their nerve and Alfie Barbeary powered over in the last five minutes to book a last-four showdown with Lyon next weekend.

“We’re on their line for what felt like about 10 or 15 minutes and came away with nothing,” Blackett told BBC CWR’s Alec Blackman. “It felt a big shift in momentum, and that’s what the guys spoke about inside [at half-time].

“I thought Jack Willis spoke really well in terms of, “look, we’ve shown ourselves, how to go and win this game” and I thought the pack did that, so the pleasing thing was out there they found a way to win us the game and get us through to the semi-final and that’s what the pack did. I thought it was a game just built around the pack.”

Wasps pushed Edinburgh off their own ball in the game’s first scrum and pressure applied by tighthead Alo prompted a substitution before half-time as home loosehead Harrison Courtney was withdrawn to get Scotland loosehead Pierre Schoeman onto the pitch.

“We know how good Edinburgh’s scrum is so we were very much aware of that,” added Blackett. “As we did last week I thought we got the edge against London Irish in the scrum, and that’s the pleasing thing. I think the pack have definitely upped it a gear in training and definitely, in the last couple of months, they’ve taken it to another level.

“I think a big thing with that is having bodies fit, and people to train against, and as you’ve seen with the recruitment and everything around this club, we’re trying to build a team around a pack, because we see how influential it can be on games and they’re starting to deliver, they really are. They win games on their own which today felt like that. Yes, there were other bits and bobs but actually it was a game built around our pack.”





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