Utility back Josh Matavesi admits Worcester Warriors’ worst run in the professional era can be felt all around Sixways ahead of the visit of Newcastle Falcons.
The Warriors slipped to their ninth successive Aviva Premiership defeat last time out against Wasps and currently prop up the table with one point from four matches this season.
Such a run is their worst in the professional era and they welcome Newcastle having lost their last four Aviva Premiership matches at Sixways – their last win coming against Wasps in March.
And Matavesi insists the situation isn’t lost on anyone at Worcester – although he believes with greater discipline they can arrest their slide at the expense of the Falcons.
“It is a big game for us and we know there is a lot of pressure on us, you can feel it around the club,” said Matavesi.
“We need to play our own game and concentrate on ourselves and getting that win. If we keep our discipline in defence we can try and strangle them and force the errors.
“We have been playing some good rugby and have scored some good tries so we know we are capable of winning. We need to cut out the penalties.
“We all obviously want to do our teammates proud and create that penalty and get that turnover but you can’t push it too far and we need to communicate better as a team.”
The visit of Newcastle could be a timely one however with the Falcons having only claimed one win from four this season and only scored their first try last time out against Gloucester Rugby.
Newcastle have only beaten Worcester once in their last nine meetings in all competitions and haven’t won at Sixways since September 2004 – statistics not lost on head coach Peter Russell.
“Worcester is a tough place to travel to and what more can you say about Sixways – there will undoubtedly be a big atmosphere down there with two teams fighting it out for the points,” he said.
“It’s up to us to make sure that we come away with the points. Worcester have a big pack and I think our movement around the field will be key for us.
“Hopefully we can keep the crowd relatively quiet by getting points on the board. We just need to build on the pressure that we put on them, making sure we are controlling the scoreboard, and this game is a must win for us.”
Referee: Martin Fox (95th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Andrew Pearce & Nigel Carrick. TMO: Geoff Warren.