Number 10 still Warriors’ problem

Worcester News: RUNNING MAN: Worcester Warriors’ Ignacio Mieres breaks free to score a converted try during his side’s loss to Northampton Saints. RUNNING MAN: Worcester Warriors’ Ignacio Mieres breaks free to score a converted try during his side’s loss to Northampton Saints.

IT seems to me that the only person with bigger problems at number 10 than Worcester Warriors is Nick Clegg.

As the season progresses, Dean Ryan switches between Ignacio Mieres and Paul Warwick in the Warriors hot-seat and, each week, the chosen fly-half flatters to deceive.

Deputy Prime Minister Clegg made his way into Downing Street as part of an awkward coalition government with David Cameron, but the Sixways power-sharing duo are finding it even more difficult to come up with match-winning policies.

Former Worcester player Joe Carlisle was regularly castigated for his erratic performances at stand-off during his Gold and Blue career, but many of his harshest critics may be beginning to think they should have been careful what they wished for.

Both Mieres and Warwick have an impressive pedigree in the professional game, but neither have lived up to their reputations since moving to Sixways in the summer.

The errant goal-kicking of the duo is just the tip of the iceberg as, more importantly, both have struggled to get the Warriors back-line going in Aviva Premiership matches.

While 32-year-old Warwick probably holds the upper hand in terms of his tactical kicking, he struggles to dictate games as he did so well in his Munster pomp when he was one of the top fly-halves in Europe.

Mieres fell out of favour at Exeter after losing the number 10 shirt to Gareth Steenson and the fact he still had a year left on his Sandy Park contract when he agreed to join Worcester speaks volumes.

The Argentinian play-maker takes the ball to the line well, but doesn’t have the bulk or the footwork to break through it with any regularity and his distribution has been poor on numerous occasions this season.

Many of the Worcester fans I speak to say Warriors should never have let Andy Goode leave, but unfortunately it’s not as simple as that.

The former Leicester and England fly-half, who is now at Wasps, was Worcester’s marquee player during his time at Sixways and would have almost certainly wanted to remain in that pay bracket to stay with the club.

However, despite his pedigree in the English game, 33-year-old Goode would not have been able to command that salary on the open market, which left Worcester in a no-win situation — pay over the odds to keep him or watch him sign for a league rival.

Admittedly, it is never easy for a number 10 to play behind a pack that is struggling week in, week out, but director of rugby Ryan desperately needs one — if not both of his fly-halves – to up their game dramatically.


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