No team likes to lose in a final, but to lose it in extra time to an avoidable infringement makes it that little bit more bitter.
But Wasps will bounce back and back-row James Haskell believes his team will learn from the mistakes and come back stronger.
Haskell featured heavily in Wasps’ successful campaign last time out, despite finishing second best to Exeter in the final.
“Every time you get to a final you take more experience out of that” said the British and Irish Lion.
“You learn about being more ruthless in game management and that was our failure.”
Attack and defence
Last season’s attacking displays saw Wasps finish the regular season in top spot. However their defence was often scrutinized as teams picked up bonus points against them.
“We want to improve on our defence. We had a great attack last year – everyone ideally wants a great attack” said Haskell.
“We’re looking to match our attack with a good defence. It’s difficult to get a complete balance across the side in terms of the way you want to play.
“[We need] to make sure that within our attack and defence we meet our KPI’s and get that right.”
Wasps open their account at home against Sale Sharks – two sides who have recruited well in the off season. But Haskell will be hoping his sides’ new recruits will hit the ground running.
“Dai has signed real wisely. We’re excited to see Marcus Watson, [Juan] de Jongh and Gabby [Gabiriele Lovobalavu] he’s been outstanding in pre-season.
Haskell added “We’ve added pretty well to the squad and there’s a good core group of players. Everyone’s been pretty excited around pre-season.
“We’re looking at the first game, which will be Sale, it’s going to be very good.”
“It’s not a great picture of what’s going to happen, so only what matters is when the season starts. You don’t win finals from the start.”
Haskell eyes Wasps commitment
However, the England back row, whose contract is up at the end of the season, is keen to commit his future to the club.
“When my contract is up, I’m keen to re-sign there. I’m looking to play well and get myself in the starting lineup.
“Playing for England and win some silverware for Wasps – two things that are massively important to me.”
Last season’s finalists will begin their campaign on Saturday at the Ricoh Arena. Their visitors Sale, will be hoping to continue their success in pre-season.
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