DIRECTOR of rugby Alan Solomons praised the impact of Ryan Mills off the bench as he played an influential role in Worcester Warriors’ comeback 20-13 win over 14-man Sale Sharks at Sixways.

Francois Venter and Ashley Beck were picked ahead of Mills who has been a prominent figure in Warriors’ midfield over the past two seasons.

But Mills was called upon at half-time after Venter was forced off with an ankle injury and the inside centre helped Worcester turn the match around with an impressive second-half showing.

Mills’ neat inside pass released Perry Humphreys for Warriors’ first try before crossing the try-line himself late on only for it to be ruled out for obstruction.

“Francois rolled his ankle and wasn’t right to go on so Millsy came on,” Solomons said.

“I thought Millsy did really well in that second half.

“He played a part in the first try and was unlucky not to be awarded that last try although I haven’t looked at it carefully.

“He was physical, got involved and made some good decisions.

“He had a lovely little kick down the right-hand touchline which I thought they knocked on.

“There is competition for places here and anybody can step into the team and make a difference.”

Asked why he chose not to start Mills, Solomons added: “We have got very good midfielders.

“We looked at our opposition and we made a decision for this particular game.

“That’s all it was.”

Sale led 10-3 courtesy of tries from Faf de Klerk and Chris Ashton before Jean-Luc de Preez was red carded for a shoulder charge to Graham Kitchener’s head just before the interval.

Duncan Weir landed a penalty on the stroke of half-time before Warriors struck twice in four minutes with Humphreys and Beck crossing.

On what he told his players at the break, Solomons said: “It’s the same principle as when you have got the wind behind you.

“You can’t rely on the wind to do it for you and we made the point that you can’t rely on the fact that they have got 14 men.

“We had to follow the process, get field position, hold onto the ball and the points would come. We can’t try to force things.

“Sure enough the points came with the two tries and we had the third disallowed.

“I thought the boys played really well.

“Obviously both sides were up for this game.

“It was physical and there were a lot of errors and penalties from both sides early doors.

“It was a pretty edgy affair.”

The victory was Warriors’ third of the Gallagher Premiership campaign and sees them climb to fourth in the table.

“This was a big game for us,” Solomons said.

“We blew the Exeter game, so it was very important that we won this.

“There is a long way to go but I am chuffed with what we have managed to achieve in the first five games.

“As I keep saying this is a really tough competition. On any day any side can beat anyone.”