AFTER Newcastle Falcons’ 40-12 hammering at London Irish yesterday, the Aviva Premiership survival shoot-out sees Warriors seven points adrift with three games to go.

Dean Ryan’s men took two bonus points from their 38-33 defeat to Exeter Chiefs at Sixways on Saturday to close the gap on the Kingston Park outfit.

However, the equation still looks grim for Worcester, who realistically have to win at either Saracens or Bath and then beat Gloucester at Sixways to have a chance of staying up.

Warriors are arguably a better side now than Newcastle, but Ryan’s men are paying the price for a shocking start to the season that saw them lose at home to all of the lower-ranked sides around them in the table.

The Falcons, who haven’t won a league game since October, may struggle to pick up too many more points this term as they face visits from Saracens and Exeter as well as a trip to Wasps.

Therefore, Worcester can still play a role in their own destiny, but losing at home to the Chiefs was a major set-back.

Director of rugby Ryan blamed the loss on his side being ‘too soft’ in the opening 40 minutes.

He said: “Exeter were sharper, more clinical and had a better understanding of what they wanted to do, particularly in the first-half, and that gave us too much to do.

“Exeter caused us problems throughout with their wide game stretching us.

“We are not going away yet, though, and feel we have a lot to contribute. We’ll see what happens next game before we are written off by anyone.

“The reality was that we were too soft in the first-half and not clinical enough in knowing our jobs.

“You can’t give sides that sort of a lead and expect the capacity of your attacking game to drag you back into the match.

“We have three games left and recognise two of them are against two of the best sides in the Premiership, but the irony is there is some decent rugby being played by us now.

“London Irish won at Saracens and we will have to do something like that. Saturday was an opportunity, but we now have three games left and we’re not going away.”