Worcester Warriors 12 Sale Sharks 24

Worcester Warriors 12 Sale Sharks 24

Worcester Warriors 12 Sale Sharks 24

First published in Sport Worcester News: Photograph of the Author by , @tomguestWN #WENsport

WARRIORS’ performances – or lack thereof – against Sale Sharks this term have made for painful viewing for Worcester supporters, but perfectly encapsulate why the Sixways side have been so woeful this term.

By a quirk of the fixture computer, Dean Ryan has gone head-to-head with Steve Diamond five times in all competitions and, on each occasion, it has been Sale’s grizzled director of rugby who has led his side to a one-sided, forward-dominated victory.

In each post-match press conference, the no-nonsense former hooker has churned out mealy-mouthed platitudes about how good a side Worcester are and how they don’t deserve to be bottom of the pile. Easy to say after your side has cruised to a win.

After all five of the “contests”, Ryan has been left to pin the blame for defeat on his under-powered pack – and he is right.

The way Sale bullied Warriors with their driving line-outs in the 29-15 Amlin Cup defeat at Sixways in October was embarrassing and highlighted how deep Worcester’s problems run.

Despite four months having passed since that first instalment of this year’s Worcester-Sale saga, Warriors are still powerless to combat the Sharks’ juggernaut pack.

Ryan and his head coach Carl Hogg have spent many hours on the training ground scratching their heads and searching for answers, but none have been forthcoming.

And it was more of the same on Saturday as Sale totally dominated Warriors at scrum-time, to such an extent that the hosts were even a liability on their own put-in.

John Andress, who continually flatters to deceive as a Premiership-standard tighthead, dropped out on the morning of the game with a back injury, which led to the bizarre decision of pitching Euan Murray straight into the starting XV despite him having hardly played or trained for months.

Ryan’s logic was that it would be better to put the Scotland international in from the start to see where he was, rather than having to pitch him in off the bench.

However, despite all this doom and gloom at Sixways, I still believe – and I will be lambasted for saying it – that Warriors can pull off a miraculous escape this season.

Although the form book suggests no evidence to back up this wild assumption, I can’t help but feel that Worcester still have something left in their locker.

All they need is that elusive victory and their confidence would go through the roof. If they could reduce the gap between them and 11th-placed Newcastle above them to single figures, the pressure on the Falcons would be cranked up several notches.

While Warriors’ fecklessness this term is plain to see when you look at the league table, Dean Richards’ men have hardly set the world alight.

If Worcester could somehow conjure up a win at mis-firing Quins this weekend or when Wasps come to Sixways the following Friday night, then the March 30 trip to Kingston Park could suddenly become a relegation decider.

At a glance: 1m: Cipriani pen 0-3; 6m: Cueto try 0-8; 12m: Cipriani pen 0-11; 45m: Cipriani pen 0-14; 54m: Braid try 0-19; 54m: Cipriani con 0-21; 63m: Galarza try 5-21; 68m: Macleod pen 5-24; 77m: Galarza try 10-24; 78m: Lamb con 12-24.

Comments (9)

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11:00am Mon 24 Feb 14

welshpricey says...

Loving your optimism Tom but no. Not a cat in hells chance of Warriors pulling off a miracle . They've managed to put in 2 decent performances in an entire season so nothing looks to be like it could be a positive. Newcastle only need o bag one more win and we're finished anyway.

Go down a tier for a season, let the players go who don't want the fight (or players who can only play for 6 months of the season, players who "can't" play on a Sunday, etc), build up a strong group of 30 who do want the fight and blood them for a season in the Championship. Look at the likes of Northampton, Quins, Exeter as what benefits you get by building yourselves back up and coming into the Prem fresh.
Loving your optimism Tom but no. Not a cat in hells chance of Warriors pulling off a miracle . They've managed to put in 2 decent performances in an entire season so nothing looks to be like it could be a positive. Newcastle only need o bag one more win and we're finished anyway. Go down a tier for a season, let the players go who don't want the fight (or players who can only play for 6 months of the season, players who "can't" play on a Sunday, etc), build up a strong group of 30 who do want the fight and blood them for a season in the Championship. Look at the likes of Northampton, Quins, Exeter as what benefits you get by building yourselves back up and coming into the Prem fresh. welshpricey
  • Score: 0

11:32am Mon 24 Feb 14

Officer Nordburg says...

Tom I admire your optimism on this but the mentality of the players is not right, Sale at home is a winnable game but we started to play when the game was gone. The players perform against Leicester and Saracens but not against London Irish and Newcastle. I completely agree over Andress all he does is give away scrum penalties.
Tom I admire your optimism on this but the mentality of the players is not right, Sale at home is a winnable game but we started to play when the game was gone. The players perform against Leicester and Saracens but not against London Irish and Newcastle. I completely agree over Andress all he does is give away scrum penalties. Officer Nordburg
  • Score: 0

11:34am Mon 24 Feb 14

Worcester Lad says...

There's no question that the Warriors will be playing Championship rugby next season, but, and a big but, will they be able to return at the first attempt, I think it might be a struggle.
There's no question that the Warriors will be playing Championship rugby next season, but, and a big but, will they be able to return at the first attempt, I think it might be a struggle. Worcester Lad
  • Score: 2

12:29pm Mon 24 Feb 14

amvarmalc says...

Cant see it myself Tom even though we all like to dream of the great escape!
Just look at the possession stats. - we spent most of our time in the opposition half/22 on Saturday but we just don't see able to convert the opportunities we create! Sale had three or four attacking moments in the whole game and managed to dot down every time!
Cant see it myself Tom even though we all like to dream of the great escape! Just look at the possession stats. - we spent most of our time in the opposition half/22 on Saturday but we just don't see able to convert the opportunities we create! Sale had three or four attacking moments in the whole game and managed to dot down every time! amvarmalc
  • Score: 1

3:18pm Mon 24 Feb 14

zx12r says...

Tom, Roy Orbison had a hit with a song called 'In Dreams' I think you have played it once to often. I should put it away & play another of his hits 'It's Over'. For that it most certainly is.
Tom, Roy Orbison had a hit with a song called 'In Dreams' I think you have played it once to often. I should put it away & play another of his hits 'It's Over'. For that it most certainly is. zx12r
  • Score: 2

3:31pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Raniator says...

Did all the players go into town after the game drinking?
Did all the players go into town after the game drinking? Raniator
  • Score: 1

8:28pm Mon 24 Feb 14

WS1991 says...

welshpricey wrote:
Loving your optimism Tom but no. Not a cat in hells chance of Warriors pulling off a miracle . They've managed to put in 2 decent performances in an entire season so nothing looks to be like it could be a positive. Newcastle only need o bag one more win and we're finished anyway.

Go down a tier for a season, let the players go who don't want the fight (or players who can only play for 6 months of the season, players who "can't" play on a Sunday, etc), build up a strong group of 30 who do want the fight and blood them for a season in the Championship. Look at the likes of Northampton, Quins, Exeter as what benefits you get by building yourselves back up and coming into the Prem fresh.
For every Northampton and Quins, who benefit from relegation (Exeter have never been relegated) there is a Bedford, Bristol, Leeds, London Welsh, Newcastle and Worcester, who do not benefit, and come up the same or worse as before.

Quins and Northampton are bigger clubs than Worcester.
[quote][p][bold]welshpricey[/bold] wrote: Loving your optimism Tom but no. Not a cat in hells chance of Warriors pulling off a miracle . They've managed to put in 2 decent performances in an entire season so nothing looks to be like it could be a positive. Newcastle only need o bag one more win and we're finished anyway. Go down a tier for a season, let the players go who don't want the fight (or players who can only play for 6 months of the season, players who "can't" play on a Sunday, etc), build up a strong group of 30 who do want the fight and blood them for a season in the Championship. Look at the likes of Northampton, Quins, Exeter as what benefits you get by building yourselves back up and coming into the Prem fresh.[/p][/quote]For every Northampton and Quins, who benefit from relegation (Exeter have never been relegated) there is a Bedford, Bristol, Leeds, London Welsh, Newcastle and Worcester, who do not benefit, and come up the same or worse as before. Quins and Northampton are bigger clubs than Worcester. WS1991
  • Score: 2

9:20pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Wobbly Warrior says...

There is nothing to suggest that this management team will get any better in the Championship. Let's face it we can't get any worse. I can't see us coming back in one season. We are definitely more Rotherham/Bristol/Le
eds category than in the Saints/Quins group. Who says you have to go down to re-build anyway? That's just a cop out.
There is nothing to suggest that this management team will get any better in the Championship. Let's face it we can't get any worse. I can't see us coming back in one season. We are definitely more Rotherham/Bristol/Le eds category than in the Saints/Quins group. Who says you have to go down to re-build anyway? That's just a cop out. Wobbly Warrior
  • Score: 1

10:48am Tue 25 Feb 14

Jeremy Pitt says...

To avoid relegation Warriors have to win at least 3 of their final 7 games, including the one away at Newcastle, with Newcastle not getting a bonus point from the game. If Warriors win 3 games, they also need to overturn a 40 point difference too, which will be difficult if you consider that they will add to their negative points difference in the 4 games they'll lose! Warriors will probably have to win those 3 games by at least 15 points, but then they will get winning bonus points too. Realistically Warriors need to win 4 of their remaining games against Quins, Wasps, Newcastle, Exeter, Bath, Saracens and Gloucester! If Newcastle beat Warriors, it is definitely all over, if they get a losing bonus point it is as good as over too.
Something left in the locker?? They have had nothing in the locker from the first day of the season! And if they do? Why haven't they used it before?
To avoid relegation Warriors have to win at least 3 of their final 7 games, including the one away at Newcastle, with Newcastle not getting a bonus point from the game. If Warriors win 3 games, they also need to overturn a 40 point difference too, which will be difficult if you consider that they will add to their negative points difference in the 4 games they'll lose! Warriors will probably have to win those 3 games by at least 15 points, but then they will get winning bonus points too. Realistically Warriors need to win 4 of their remaining games against Quins, Wasps, Newcastle, Exeter, Bath, Saracens and Gloucester! If Newcastle beat Warriors, it is definitely all over, if they get a losing bonus point it is as good as over too. Something left in the locker?? They have had nothing in the locker from the first day of the season! And if they do? Why haven't they used it before? Jeremy Pitt
  • Score: 1
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