Worcester Warriors will head into Friday’s Aviva Premiership clash with Sale Sharks on a mission, according to hooker Chris Brooker.
The Warriors are currently the only side without a league victory this season and sit bottom of the table, five places below the Sharks ahead of their trip to the AJ Bell Stadium this weekend.
But while hopeful of an upturn in fortunes, the team will also be out to turn the tables on their opponents after an earlier loss this season, described by Brooker as the worst of the campaign.
It came in round two of the Amlin Challenge Cup last month, as the Warriors fell to a 29-15 defeat at Sixways.
Recent performances in the LV= Cup have been more promising however, with a first win of the season coming against Cardiff Blues before an encouraging performance against Leicester Tigers last weekend.
And with Sale having lost two successive Aviva Premiership matches themselves, Brooker was backing his side to defy the critics.
“We played Sale around five weeks ago and it was our worst performance, in terms of how we played and what we did on the field,” he said.
“Obviously as a forward pack and as a team we know what they will bring for Friday’s game.
“But for us it is a chance to right a few wrongs from that game. Hopefully it can be a turning point in our season.
“They know what to expect from us from the last game but we will be going out there to put in an improved performance.
“It’s about building on the good things from the game against Leicester and obviously the win over Cardiff Blues.
“We are not paying any attention to what is being said in the press or outside of the camp. We leave that to Dean.
“We all just concentrate on the next game and don’t think any further ahead than that. There has been no talk in the team about what could happen later in the season.”
Sale can take heart from the fact that the last six meetings between these sides have been won by the home side, although the Sharks have lost their last two matches at home, most recently against Bath in the LV=Cup.
Friday’s game, which is being shown live on BT Sport, marks the second of five scheduled meetings between the two sides this season.
But despite winning round one, flanker Dave Seymour knows they are not in for an easy ride against an improving Warriors outfit.
“Worcester are a big team got a strong pack. In the last couple of weeks they’ve won the first game and only just narrowly lost on the weekend so they picked up momentum in the last two weeks so it poses a challenge for us,” said Seymour.
“I think there were a few games where they’ve only lost by a few points which again last year we were in the same position.
“They’ve got a lot of good players down there and the last two weeks have shown that they’ve got the wind which is a tough thing to get when you’ve lost two, three, four on the spin; it becomes quite illusive but they’ve got that.”
Referee: Andrew Small ( Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Robin Goodliffe & Stuart Terheege. TMO: David Grashoff.