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Wrong to write off Warriors just yet
3:06pm Tuesday 11th February 2014 in Sport
OK, hands up all those who thought Worcester Warriors would get thrashed by Leicester Tigers?
I must admit I was of them, having witnessed the 42-3 defeat to Exeter Chiefs in the LV= Cup.
But how wrong I was.
Although Warriors still lost 23-22 to the defending Aviva Premiership champions at Sixways, their display suggested relegation to the Championship might not be a foregone conclusion most after all.
Led by the skill and determination of full-back Chris Pennell, who scored 17 points, as well as sterling efforts from captain Jonathan Thomas and lock Mike Williams, Dean Ryan's men were unrecognisable from the previous weekend.
But for all of last Friday's graft, Worcester are only one losing bonus point better off. They are still 10 points behind second-from-bottom Newcastle Falcons with only nine games to go.
Crucially, one of those is against the Falcons in the north east on March 30, a game which could pivotal should Worcester still be in the hunt for survival.
Based on their showing against Leicester, there is no reason why they shouldn't be.
They need to use that narrow defeat as a platform to believe that if they can hit those levels again, the elusive wins they need will come,
It will be a big ask to replicate the same level of commitment in the remaining matches but not impossible.
Having come so close against the Tigers, Warriors now have to regroup and go again at league leaders Northampton Saints this Saturday. Then against Sale, Harlequins and so on until May 10 against Gloucester.
How much last Friday has taken out of the players, both physically and mentally, remains to be seen.
But, finally, Warriors have shown they are up for the fight.
The question now is have they left it too late?