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Bench boys giving Hill headache for Chiefs contest
SKIPPER Dean Schofield and Chris Jones came off the bench against their former club Sale to give Richard Hill a selection headache ahead of this weekend’s Aviva Premiership trip to Exeter Chiefs.
Warriors boss Hill elected to leave the former England men on the bench for the 23-16 victory over the Sharks, but they both made huge impacts when they arrived as replacements to help see out the win.
Captain Schofield was dropped in favour of Craig Gillies to sure up the line-out – a ploy which failed to bear fruit – while Jones was left out of a back row of Sam Betty, Matt Kvesic and Semisi Taulava.
However, Hill admits he will have to carefully consider his Sandy Park selection after the pair’s impressive cameos.
He said: “I thought when Dean and Chris came on we looked a bit more lively — they made a difference. They were brilliant all week before the Sale game as they knew early on that they wouldn’t be starting.
“I think they had a point to prove and both responded in the right way with training and they were desperate to come on. I’ve got to go and look at the selection again. One or two things worked with selection and one or two didn’t.
“Everyone is working hard, but it is about getting the balance — I don’t think we got it quite right against Sale.”
Although delighted to make it back-to-back Aviva Premiership wins, Hill admitted his side were a little off-colour following two weeks of European walk-overs.
He added: “I think we looked rusty and that is always a problem if you come off the back of two easy Amlin Challenge Cup wins where you are not really tested.
“Sale had Heineken Cup games against Cardiff Blues and Montpellier, so they were more battle-hardened. We were rusty with our work at the line-out and various pieces of accuracy and game management.
“In the two games in Europe, we ran everything — we didn’t have to worry about kicking and some of our game management needed to be looked at.
“We played a lot of rugby in our own half and caused a lot of problems for ourselves, but we showed spirit. We weren’t at our best by any means and we just had enough to hold Sale off.”