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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 May, 2005, 17:41 GMT 18:41 UK
Dallaglio hurt by Leicester focus
Lawrence Dallaglio lifts the Premiership trophy
Wasps skipper Lawrence Dallaglio admitted the focus on Martin Johnson's retirement spurred his side on in the Premiership final win over Leicester.

Leicester were marking the end of Johnson's and Neil Back's career but they could not give them the send-off they wanted as Wasps won 39-14.

"They are great players but from when I woke up all I heard was Leicester, Neil Back, Martin Johnson," said Dallaglio.

"It kind of irks you a little bit and we used that as motivation."

Dallaglio was one of the star performers in an impressive all-round display but felt his side were written off before the game.

"Leicester are a great side and Martin and Neil are some of the greatest players the game has ever seen," he added. "But we are the champions, we have been for the last two years and it wasn't going to be a formality for them."

Wasps went into the game without a win against Leicester since December 2002 and Dallaglio said that their tactics changed to end the poor run.

As for Josh Lewsey, some of his tackles in the first 20 minutes were awesome
Wasps coach Warren Gatland

"We played very differently in the final," he added. "You can't play all the rugby against Leicester, they are a great side.

"We kicked the ball a little bit more and put the ball in behind them.

"Leicester are a side that like to lead from the front and we put them under pressure and forced them to play catch-up."

The victory was the perfect farewell for coach Warren Gatland who is leaving for New Zealand this summer after a spell that has seen the club win three Premiership titles, the Heineken Cup and the Parker Pen Challenge Cup.

"Warren has been a massive influence on everyone, not just at Wasps but on England rugby," said Dallaglio.

"The Premiership is a better competition for having him and you can't say that about all foreign coaches."

Gatland meanwhile was happy to let his players take the credit, saying: "We were written off before the game and we really wanted it bad. I'm really proud of the boys.

"Lawrence is the best leader in the game that I've ever seen, he is the sort of player you want to be in the trenches.

"As for Josh Lewsey, some of his tackles in the first 20 minutes were awesome. That really set the tone for us."

Interview: Wasps captain Lawrence Dallaglio

Interview: Wasps coach Warren Gatland

Interview: Leicester captain Martin Johnson


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