DIRECTOR of rugby Dean Ryan praised misfiring stand-off Ignacio Mieres for overcoming a poor start to the Amlin Challenge Cup game against Oyonnax to eventually lead Warriors to victory.
The former Exeter play-maker missed two regulation kicks at goal and his confidence off the tee looks at rock bottom, but he managed the game well and eventually put Worcester in a position to claim a much-needed win.
Ryan said: “We have struggled with goalkicking all year, so I was really pleased for Cangu that he stepped up and said ‘it’s not going well, but I’m going to hit these goals’.
“There actually isn’t another answer, because we went through a series of six or seven scrums near their line and the ref clearly wasn’t going to do anything, so those three, six, nine points are where the game is decided.
“We missed some of those early on, but I felt Cangu showed real presence and strength of mind to keep going and the game opened up from there.”
Sixways chief Ryan was also impressed with how his pack fronted up, as they went on to dominate a physical Oyonnax eight and set the platform for victory.
He added: “When you know Oyonnax are coming, you know one thing and that is that they will be big, they will take you on in the set-piece and they’ll have a couple of big centres.
“You hope for a little bit of dry ground, but there was no chance of that, so you just have to take them on.
“You can’t play a wider game – you just have to hit your goals which, for the first 40 minutes, we didn’t look comfortable with and that just allowed them to multiple-offend. We had more than enough of that game to get the win, but actually doing it is completely different for us.
"The boys have quite rightly been rewarded – they work so hard and no-one sees that.
“In this sport, you get about two minutes of feeling fantastic after a win, before you go back to work. Sadly, some of the losses stay with you until the following Wednesday or Thursday, but our dressing room was buzzing – everyone was in there.
“We needed this – we know the challenges coming up and what we are trying to do over this month. Again I thought Josh Watkins was really good and Max Stelling came on and looked comfortable at full-back.
“We lost Ben Howard and Leo Senatore early which caused a real re-shuffle, because we didn’t load this game expecting to lose people that early.
“All the positives are there irrespective of the result, but getting the win was big for us and will help the lads to feel good about themselves.”