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Match Reaction: Worcester Warriors 20 Harlequins 24

Dean Ryan admitted his Worcester Warriors side left themselves too much to do after their comeback against Harlequins fell agonisingly short on Sunday at Sixways.

Charlie Walker’s double and a try from Luke Wallace meant that Quins led 24-3 early in the second half and appeared to be cruising to their 15th Aviva Premiership Rugby victory over Worcester in a row.

But a stirring comeback from Ryan’s troops saw Marco Mama, a penalty try and Phil Dowson all score as Quins were forced to cling on in the closing stages.

However, the Worcester director of rugby was not taking many positives from his side’s performance in miserable conditions at Sixways.

“In the first half we lacked experience about the conditions and we started over thinking and suddenly we lost ourselves,” he said.

“They were smarter than us, I thought Danny (Care) looked sharp, they kicked on the edges and kept turning us.

“We lost a lineout caller in Darren Barry during the week and that hurt us, we lost two or three opportunities there that we really should have nailed in that first half and ultimately we left ourselves too much to come chasing back.

“We have got to get all the pieces right if we are going to be successful, we have got to start week after week competing.

“We are giving away stupid tries, we are not concentrating for the full 80 and against the best sides that will hurt you.

“We are better than that, we have got to start challenging ourselves to be better than that. We know that we can compete but we have got to make that transition into winning games. At the moment we are still a bit frustrated because there is more that we can do.”

For Quins, victory moves them up to third in the league table and with table toppers Saracens up next in the league Conor O’Shea is confident his side are in good working order.

Although after their dramatic 39-39 draw at Twickenham against Gloucester Rugby last time out, the director of rugby would like it to be a bit easier in future.

“The boys certainly put us through it don’t they?” he said.

“I thought we were outstanding for 45-50 minutes, we were powerful, we were clinical and disciplined.

“When we went 24-3 up you could say there was a slight loss of focus, we certainly fell on the wrong side of the referee for the rest of the game.

“It was very difficult and you could sense the frustration growing amongst the players – the conditions were horrendous to say the least so it was never going to be pretty.

“But at least it was exciting, both teams tried to play rugby and for us to come away from home and get a victory – we will take a huge amount of positives and look forward to next week.”

Worcester Warriors 20 Harlequins 24

Worcester: Pennell; Heem, Olivier, Mills, Vuna (Biggs, 74); Heathcote (Symons, 30), Arr (Mulchrone, 74); Leleimalefaga (Bowyer, 65), Annett (Sowrey, 65), Schonert (Milasinovich, 65), O'Callaghan (Sanderson, 65), Cavubati, Cox, Mama (Betty, 50), Dowson
Harlequins: Brown; Walker, Lowe, Roberts, Chisholm; N Evans, Care; Marler, Ward (Buchanan, 54), Jones (Sinckler, 54), Horwill, Matthews, Robshaw, Wallace (Clifford, 54), Easter
Replacement not used: O Evans, Merrick, Dickson, Botica, Sloan.

Tries: Mama, penalty, Dowson
Conversions: Mills
Penalties: Heathcote

Tries: Walker 2, Wallace
Conversions: Evans 3
Penalties: Evans
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Attendance: 9,035

Boxing Day Sale! Click here to grab a bargain with 20% off tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on 28 May at Twickenham.


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