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Despair for Worcester Warriors chief Hill over line-outs
10:00am Friday 15th February 2013 in Sport
WARRIORS head coach Richard Hill admits his side’s misfiring line-out can be ‘soul-destroying’ at times.
The Worcester chief says it drives him to distraction when he looks on from the sidelines only to see his pack butcher promising attacking platforms by bungling their own line-out ball.
Several times at Bath, the maddeningly-inconsistent Aleki Lutui had his throw pilfered by the home jumpers when Worcester had set up scoring chances in the hosts’ 22.
Hill revealed Warriors tried to beat Bath at their own game by tinkering with their line-out strategy, but it was a gamble that backfired as Toby Booth’s well-drilled operators were able to thwart Worcester at crucial times.
The Sixways side, once renowned throughout the league for their dominant set-piece game, have been dogged by line-out problems for most of the season with games often lost due to costly errors on their own throw in opponents’ 22s.
“The line-out is frustrating,” admitted Hill. “It is a bit soul-destroying for us. The players don’t mean to do it, but you are sat on the side of the pitch having won a penalty and set up an attacking line-out only to lose it.
“That is the inaccuracy I’m talking about. It’s not through a lack of will, energy or enthusiasm, but when you see that it kills you. You have to keep working to try and improve that accuracy.”
The Warriors boss added: “We are all looking at it — no-one wants to lose their attacking line-outs. The first two line-outs we had in the Bath half, we lost the ball.
“Sometimes it is difficult to read how the game will go. We know Bath do a lot of analysis of the opposition line-out, so if you do the same one each time they get used to it.
“Therefore, you end up changing one or two and if you haven’t drilled them for weeks and weeks you can run the risk that they may not go quite so well, which is what happened at Bath.
“We changed a few to try and throw Bath off the scent, but didn’t quite get the accuracy we required, so towards the end of the game we had to go back to our normal line-out strategy.
“But what can you do? If we’d used our regular strategy from previous weeks, Bath would have read those.
“Our line-out didn’t function as well as we would have liked but, there again, theirs wasn’t particularly good on the day either.
“Craig Gillies pinched a couple and a few went over the top or not straight too, so it was about equal.
“Having said that, we will need to have a better line-out against Saints this weekend.”