FICKLE is always an emotive word in sport, guaranteed to get the backs up of any fans when it is used to describe them.
Sometimes, however, it is the correct adjective and a case in point would be at around 3.45pm on Saturday as my Twitter account went into meltdown when I asked how Warriors fans thought their team had performed in the first-half of the LV= Cup clash with Scarlets.
It’s fair to say the opening 40 minutes had not been the best fare ever seen at Sixways, but it was both sides who combined to serve up absolute dross, not just Worcester.
During the interval, I was inundated with tweets saying how the team were ‘pathetic’, ‘totally woeful’ and one which branded Dean Schofield’s efforts as ‘the worst performance by a Warriors captain ever’.
Yet, just under an hour later, following a four-try burst in a vastly-improved second-half showing, the tone had changed dramatically. Suddenly, the Worcester players were world-beaters. From pathetic to perfect in less than an hour. Not bad, eh?
I admit I was preparing to pen a fairly scornful match report on the evidence of the first 40 minutes, but Warriors got their act together and produced a superb second-half to put Scarlets to the sword.
Worcester do have a habit of building up their fans’ top-six hopes, only to dash them with a woeful performance — such as the recent Aviva Premiership capitulation at Exeter — but at least wait until the game has finished before castigating the players.
Against Scarlets, Warriors fielded a much-changed line-up to give players returning from injury and others who had been on the fringes the chance to impress. I think it is only natural such wholesale alterations will take a while to bed in.
I’m not for one moment saying the first-half performance was acceptable — because it was far from that — but the team, given a little bit of half-time tinkering and no doubt a few stern words, produced a fine win.
Sixways stars of the future such as James Currie, Andy Short and Ben Howard caught the eye, while more experienced players like Chris Jones, Chris Pennell and Blair Cowan had arguably their best games of the season.
But, judging by the tweets I often receive — as well as visits to Worcester’s online fans’ forum — it is apparent Warriors have a considerable number of ‘supporters’ who only seem happy when having a moan.
In these people’s eyes, the players, coaches and people who run the club cannot do right for doing wrong. I, on the other hand, take a glass half-full approach and feel Warriors are definitely on the up. Albeit a little slowly for some people’s liking.