Ryan frustrated as Worcester crumble under Saints pressure

DISAPPOINTED - Worcester head coach Dean Ryan (Picture: Linda Dawson)
DISAPPOINTED - Worcester head coach Dean Ryan (Picture: Linda Dawson)
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Dean Ryan bemoaned Worcester’s inability to put in an 80-minute performance after they shipped 27 second-half points in the 33-10 defeat to Saints on Saturday.

Tries from Samu Manoa, Tom Collins and Tom Wood ensured Northampton, who had been 7-6 down at half-time, avoided a slip-up at Sixways.

Worcester had been dogged in defence until Manoa broke their resistance on 63 minutes.

But when he did the Warriors, without a win in nine Aviva Premiership games this season, crumbled.

And director of rugby Ryan said: “For 60 minutes we were very competitive, but not competitive in the last 10 or 15.

“When they roll the kind of people they did off the bench it’s an indication of the depth they’ve got, but I’m pretty pleased.

“I’m pretty pleased that we’re starting to understand the game, starting to understand what works for us and we’re starting to be a collective force.

“We need to now close that gap and that’s the next challenge because we’re starting to play in some of the systems and we’re starting to test them against some of the best teams in the country, as we did on Saturday, and we’re getting confidence from that.

“We just need to close that gap between the 60-minute and the 80-minute performance.”

So did Ryan feel his side would finally end their barren league run when they went in at half-time ahead?

“No, not really,” he said. “I don’t think we’ve had much luck.

“We were on the back end of a poor penalty count and I think sometimes it’s easier to favour the big powerhouse side who roll into town.

“We’ve had a number of games where we’ve asked that question. They (referees) do have a perception of us and I think it’s a fair perception, but we’re making significant improvements.

“That’s life, it’s where we are and rather than moaning about it we’ve just got to get on with it.”