DIRECTOR of rugby Alan Solomons cursed another poor start by Worcester Warriors after suffering a 28-16 defeat at Wasps to keep them in relegation trouble.

Solomons conceded his side were “not good enough” defensively in the opening 20 minutes and had given themselves “a mountain to climb” as they shipped three tries to fall 21-3 behind.

Warriors recovered courtesy of a try by Sam Lewis and got within five points of Wasps when Chris Pennell landed a monster penalty at the start of the second period.

However Nathan Hughes’ second try of the afternoon, converted by Lima Sopoaga, secured the hosts victory and resulted in Warriors leaving the Ricoh Arena pointless.

“We weren’t at the races in the first 20 minutes,” said Solomons whose side are three points above the drop zone.

“I know we made mistakes which let them into our half but our defence was not good enough in those first 20 minutes.

“Had we brought that (second-half defensive effort) in the first 20 minutes it would have been different.

“After 20 minutes we are sitting 21-3 down so you have got a mountain to climb.

“We did really well to get back into the game and were eventually sitting at 21-16 but we could never get a foothold in their territory and build pressure.”

Duncan Weir opened the scoring with a penalty on five minutes only to see Wasps score 21 points with Hughes, Marcus Watson and Zurabi Zhvania going over.

“You have to be in the right state of mind to play the game,” Solomons said.

“It was a really good start (with the penalty).

“They then kick-off, we don’t secure it and they get in behind us which made it difficult.

“They scored and the momentum then changed.

“Once they got another try and it went to 14-3 then you are on the back foot.”

With Warriors trailing 21-10 and six minutes to go before the break Wasps suffered a blow when Gaby Lovobalavu was sin-binned.

But Worcester failed to score while Wasps were down to 14 men.

“We are playing against a good side and sometimes it doesn’t happen for you,” Solomons said.

“I felt going into the half with just an eight-point difference we had got back into the game in the back 20 minutes (of the first half).

“We were out of the game in the first 20 minutes.”

Warriors missed the chance to pull further clear of relegation zone as they sit one place above Newcastle Falcons who lost 26-12 at Saracens with four games left.

“This was a game we needed to get something out of and at 21-16 we had every chance to do that,” Solomons said.

“But we had no territory. I have not seen the statistics, but it was clear to me that we didn’t have much territory and possession.

“When there were three opportunities that we had to build some pressure we lost them immediately.”

Wasps boss Dai Young said the victory was a "monkey off our backs" but reckoned his side who are 13 points clear of Newcastle in seventh needed one more win to ensure survival.

"We left a lot of points out there which would have made it a little bit more comfortable and when Worcester got within five the next score was hugely important," Young said.

"Had Worcester got something in that little spell there we could have been under a lot of pressure.

"But you have got to give Worcester a lot of credit. You have really got to shake them off.

“I thought we defended well for big spells and it was one of our better performances.

“It’s a bit of a monkey off our back. I think you could tell right through the week and even during the game that the boys were feeling the pressure a bit and understandably so.

“Hopefully that (win) will relieve a bit of pressure.

"I believe we still need another win to be comfortable but we can start looking up while keeping half an eye on what’s going on behind us."