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Courageous display by all the guys
AFTER seeing his side show glimpses of their potential in defeat at Leicester, Warriors boss Dean Ryan was quick to emphasise the long-term nature of his Sixways project.
Worcester were defeated 32-15 by the defending Aviva Premiership champions and Ryan can have no complaints with the result.
However, the visitors caused Leicester a few headaches and even threatened to stage an upset with a second-half fightback.
While Vereniki Goneva’s last-gasp try secured a five-point haul for the hosts, Warriors director of rugby Ryan was impressed by his side’s effort.
Ryan said: “I’m looking for character and behaviour that underpin us over a year or two-year period — I’m not looking at it on a week-to-week basis.
“I thought this game was a great start to that and I’m really proud of the guys. We’re not a Leicester squad and we don’t roll internationals off the bench, but we’re a courageous squad who work really hard and I think we demonstrated that.
“We talked about it before the game and you can end up feeling like you’re drowning at Welford Road when you can’t get out of your 22.
“I thought we were a little smarter and more direct in the second-half and kept field position, so I think we got pretty close to them at times.
“At half-time, I told them to be a bit more direct, play a bit more field position and to take the over-exuberance out of the defensive aspect of the game and we would get something out of it.
“I was happy with our second-half kicking game, but I felt we didn’t really have one in the first.”
Ryan added: “We worked so hard on certain things that we want to do but I think, first time out, we were always going to see a bit of an over-emphasis on some things — that’s the nature of working with a group — and it took us to half-time to redirect.
“Halfway through that game, we could have gone and crawled under a rock and got a good beating, but we didn’t.
“We came back in and that 10-point split looked fragile for a bit as we put pressure on the high ball.
“There was the incident where Chris Pennell kicked ahead and got to Ryan Lamb, we turned the ball over but got nothing from it. If we had, the nature of the score could have been very different.
“Josh Matavesi is a real threat, but we have to get the balance between his ability to play wide and to carry — he’s a big man.
“Sometimes we looked to push everything to the edge whereas we should have been trying to get Rav (Fatiaki) and Josh across the top.”