Boss praises Warrior spirit after draw

Mike Ruddock hailed his players and their ‘Warrior spirit’ as they roared back from the dead to stun London Wasps and claim a draw at Sixways Stadium.

Ruddock’s men looked set to suffer home torment as they trailed the European champions by 14 points with just ten minutes left on the clock.

But late tries from Kai Horstmann and Dom Feaunati – plus the cool kicking of Shane Drahm – saw Warriors draw level before a late drop goal miss from Dave Walder sealed a draw.

“I was very proud of the players and some of the rugby second half was fantastic, the crowd got right behind them and we looked threatening,” said Director of Rugby Ruddock.

“We saw the way forward for the Warriors and retained some of our set piece strength, with some good work in the scrum and lineout, but as the game started to break up we saw glimpses of the new Warriors.

“We created six or seven chances first half and just failed to take them. Shane Drahm had an offload in the 22 in the first half and knocked it on, it was a difficult one to take. Thinus Delport went through down the far side, there were others that we possibly could have converted.

“But second half we started to nail some of them down and we saw some real Warriors spirit.”

Ruddock also praised his men for the way they bounced back from the defeat at Bath on the opening day and never let their heads drop.

“Last week the intent was great but our skills let us down. We probably a little bit undercooked and needed another game,” he added.

“We wanted to win today but as coaches you take things out of the game – we took a lot out of that.”

Replacement Feaunati was one of several to impress after coming on in the second half and Ruddock admitted he now had selection issues for the derby trip to Gloucester next weekend.

He said :”All the replacements did well, it was right to bring them on to make an impact in the game. Initially we wanted a team that could dominate the game line and a team that could put the ball in behind Wasps.

“Once we went behind we needed something different and needed players who could make an impact and carry the ball and up the tempo. We made the right calls and changed the way the game went.

“It’s early days in terms of the player selection but those that came up put their hands up.”