Worcester Warriors are still winless in the Aviva Premiership, but full-back Chris Pennell insists they can banish that record against league leaders Saracens.
Saracens visit Sixways off the back of a thumping 49-10 win against reigning Aviva Premiership champions Leicester Tigers, while Worcester slipped to a 12-6 defeat at Gloucester Rugby last weekend.
It extended the Warriors’ league losing streak to 15 games, since they beat London Wasps 29-23 in March.
Only two clubs – Bedford and Rotherham – have had worse runs in the competitions but Pennell insists they are close to turning things around.
“Ultimately we need to take the opportunities we are creating and we can cause an upset if we get things right on the day,” he said.
“Saracens are the in-form team. Their pack usually gets them on the front foot and they have some big ball-carrying back-rowers.
“But if we can dominate the contact areas we will compete and we will be up for the match.
“It's never a nice feeling when you lose but there are an awful lot of positives to take from it.
“Everyone was putting their bodies on the line and we were starting to play within our structures. We looked dangerous and created opportunities.
“Now we just have to keep seeking improvement and results will come. I'm confident that they will.”
Last weekend’s result was Leicester’s first 5-0 loss in league points since 2006 and it ensured Saracens remained top at Christmas – their only defeat coming in round 6 against Northampton Saints.
However, Sarries have not won at Sixways in the Aviva Premiership since 2007 and the last five clashes between these two sides have all been won by the home side.
Ben Ransom is wary of the threat Worcester pose but he does not expect Saracens to show any complacency at Sixways.
“Just after Christmas, sometimes you do get a lull,” said Ransom. “But I think at Saracens the best thing about us is every game we play we go out there to win.
“Obviously away at Worcester they are going to be fighting hard. They are towards the bottom of the table so they are going to be trying to pick up every point they can and especially targeting their home games.
“I think any time a team plays Saracens they kind of see it like any of the other top teams.
“They want to test themselves against the best and I would say at the moment we are up there with the likes of Leicester and Northampton. It’s going to be a tough game.”
Referee: Greg Garner (57th Premiership game). Assistant Referees: Roger Baileff & Andrew Pearce. TMO: Geoff Warren.