Ruddock rues missed opportunity at home

Mike Ruddock admitted Warriors had let an opportunity pass them by as they drew 10-10 with bottom club Leeds Carnegie at Sixways Stadium.

Worcester dominated territory and possession throughout in the televised clash and scored tries through Aleki Lutui and Miles Benjamin – and had three more potential tries ruled out by the television official.

But an early score from Mike MacDonald and some stubborn Leeds defence ensured the relegation battles lives on.

“It was an opportunity that we let slip away,” said Director of Rugby Ruddock. “In fairness to Leeds that got the first try in and after that we were always battling in difficult conditions.

“We dominated possession and territory so we’re disappointed to let our standards slip of the last two games.

“With all due respect to Leeds, we thought we would make enough opportunities to put them away. But they never gave up.

“Leeds tackled fiercely but we outscored them 2-1 in terms of tries but we didn’t quite have enough to get the points on the board.

“After the way we have been playing the last few weeks it was disappointing that we didn’t get the victory.”

Wet and blustery conditions hit the game and Ruddock admitted the weather had not helped his side after recent victories that had been lit up by opening and running rugby.

“We wanted firm ground so we could play with pace and use our quality in our backs. It was difficult to get the ball to them,” he said.

“There was a huge amount of pressure on the game and we have been talking about this game for a long time. Maybe that was a mental thing that played on the mind, certainly we can perform much better than that. I would give the lads 10/10 for effort but only 5/10 for execution.”

Ruddock also defended the decision to kick to touch in the last quarter of the game when a penalty would have edged his side ahead.

“The wind was swirling and our driving maul has been an effective weapon all season,” he said.

“We felt it was the right call at the time and I stick by that the players did, I back them in that situation to make the right decision.

“Because we didn’t get four points we’re still looking over our shoulders.

“But we have some good quality opposition to come in the coming weeks and hopefully that will help us raise the bar again. There is plenty for us to play for all lots more points to battle for.

“We should have put this game away, but the conditions were difficult and in fairness to Leeds they got the first try in and we had to battle back. We did have the chances but unfortunately we didn’t take them.”