He may have been made to sweat right until the very end but Dean Ryan could not fail to hide his relief as Worcester Warriors finally recorded their first away victory of the season with a one-point win at Newcastle Falcons.
Going into Friday night’s clash at Kingston Park, Warriors had failed to win in any of the ten games they had played on the road this campaign.
But they put an end to that run with a battling display against fellow Aviva Premiership Rugby strugglers Newcastle.
The visitors held a slender one-point advantage at the break after Dewald Potgieter try gave them the momentum before half-time.
And while Bryce Heem’s try extended their lead in the second-half they were reeled back in when Rob Vickers powered over late on.
A Craig Willis missed conversion would ultimately prove crucial in settling the game and Warriors director of rugby Dean Ryan conceded it would go down as another valuable lesson for the season.
“That last ten minutes we almost fell over the line. I’m proud of the lads because they kept playing. We knew we had to come here and play,” he said.
“We couldn’t come on the road, especially with Goode there, and just shrink.
“We had to play. Sometimes I just want that last five minutes to be a little bit more organised and a bit cleaner.
“It’s about building this group. We missed opportunities in the first half of the season when they were there on offer and it would have made everything so much more comfortable.
“But sometimes with a group that you want to develop, they need maturity, they need experience and sadly you do have to live it, there’s no short cut for it.
“It is building now, there is a little bit more of a cushion now in the table, we’ve got this away thing off our backs now.”
Newcastle Falcons came into the match full of confidence after an unbeaten run of form at home in 2016.
But they struggled to gain a foothold in the match against a determined Worcester defence with Vickers late not enough to see them through.
“It was a pretty poor game all round between two sides who looked as if they were trying to lose the game rather than win it,” said Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards.
“Worcester showed a little bit more accuracy than we did, and I thought we played at about 50 to 60% of our capability. It comes down to our accuracy in executing things, and we didn't show that.”
“We missed two kicks at goal and they missed one. It pretty much evens itself out on that front, but they took their chances and we didn't. That's what it boils down to.
“The other week against Northampton we won by a point and tonight we lost by a point.
“It is just a bit frustrating that we weren't playing to our potential. That is the annoying thing, you want the boys to play to their capability and we didn't do that.
“But the players will reflect on it; they are pretty good at driving that themselves and they will be pretty disappointed by that performance.”
Newcastle Falcons: Hammersley; Tait, Harris, Powell (Socino 71), Watson; Goode (Willis 62), Young; Vickers, Lawson (McGuigan 62), Vea (Hatakeyama 62), Wilson, Robinson, Welch, Latu (Botha 55), Hogg.
Not used: Rogers, Chick, Takulua.
Worcester Warriors: Pennell; Heem, Wynand Olivier, Mills, Vuna (Symons 57); Heathcote, Hougaard; Rapava Ruskin (Leleimalefaga 66), Bregvadze, Schonert (Johnston 70), O'Callaghan, Barry, Dowson, Potgieter (Betty 41), van Velze.
Not used: Annett,Sanderson, Baldwin, Lamb.
Penalties: Goode 3
Tries: Potgieter, Heem
Referee: Wayne Barnes