High penalty count hurt us – Ruddock

Warriors boss Mike Ruddock admitted a high penalty count had hurt his side as Worcester slipped to defeat in the derby at Kingsholm.

Table topping Gloucester took local bragging rights as they won a passionate red-hot local battle.

Director of Rugby Ruddock was eager to take the positives out of the encounter as Warriors showed plenty of fight with a spirited show despite being behind throughout the clash.

But he conceded the penalties that stacked up against his side – in particular around the contact area – had stopped his troops from ever hitting their straps.

“We struggled to get field position because of the penalty count,” said Ruddock. “There were far too many turnovers in the contact area and that was a big weakness for us.

“First part of the second half we had some positive moments but whenever we had field position we either turned the ball over or we gave away a penalty. That kept forcing us back.

“Towards the end of the second half it was difficult to build up any momentum and we just couldn’t secure any real quick ball in and around the ruck area.

“Gloucester competed really well but I would like to look closely at the match video and see that contact area because it seemed to me the contest carried on after the situation became a ruck. It denied us getting the quick ball we wanted to play the game we wanted. It was a very different ruck area to what I have seen this year.

“We’re disappointed because things didn’t quite go our way, but Gloucester are a tough side to beat.

“It’s still the first month and a lot of work has already happened, but we are not kidding ourselves, this is a challenge and we have a long way to go yet.

“There are moments in the game when we showed good shape and at half-time we were pleased, but the second half we needed to score first to get back into it.”

Warriors did cross the try line through Gavin Quinnell who made a massive impact just seconds after coming on as a second half replacement.

And scrum half Ryan Powell was also inches from a score that would have put Worcester right back into the derby clash.

“We did create chances, we had one just under the post in the second half with Ryan that would have brought us back towards bonus point territory but didn’t nail that one down,” said Ruddock.

“If you look at Gloucester’s first try, we made a fantastic clean line break but when we passed it back inside we lost possession and they hacked on and scored. We had got in behind them down the wide channels and that could have lead to something, but one pass let us down.

“Towards the end Gloucester came back and got the try they needed to run away with the game. The ball bounced for them at times and that was typified by the last try when Marcel Garvey read what was happening and the ball just beat him on that occasion. I felt for Marcel then as I did all the lads but we move on and must now focus on Saracens and that first win.”