Magnificent pack power delights boss

Mike Ruddock praised the ‘magnificent’ Warriors pack as the forwards produced a stunning display to upset one of the form scrums in the Guinness Premiership and lay the foundations for a big league win.

Newcastle arrived at Sixways Stadium with one of the most feared scrums in the land and impressive forward fire-power.

But the Worcester pack fronted up in style as Warriors secured a 13-0 victory in a tense encounter on home soil.

“I thought our scrum was magnificent,” said Ruddock. “We had looked at Newcastle and seen they had a very good scrum and they had been doing well there. It was important that we fronted up and tonight we certainly did.

“That was the challenge. They had said their forwards were going well and talked about us as being a reasonably efficient side that bashed it up the middle.

“We made sure we highlighted that to the team and made sure Newcastle knew a little bit more about us than perhaps they thought about before the game. We used those comments to fire the boys up.

“Tony Windo is going to be pleased tonight and what was good that even when we changed some of the front rowers over we remained dominant. There was an attitude right across the park.

“The biggest thing tonight was Newcastle’s reputation in the scrum – that was a big factor to try and get the best out of our guys.

“We knew they were setting high standards there and that was the challenge we lay down to the boys.

“We pride ourselves on our set piece and it was important we made a statement tonight – I think we did just that.”

Ruddock was also delighted as his side cut out the indiscipline that has undermined recent promising displays and shutout the Falcons with a superb defensive show.

“It has been well documented our disciplinary difficulties at times and giving away penalties, tonight we only gave them one kick at goal, that was big step forward for us,” he said.

“The referee was really good and talked to the players, the feedback I have had is that he was managing players really well and we appreciated that.

“Rather than just give a penalty he was telling players to roll away and letting them know what he wanted, that all helps.”

The last action hero for Warriors was lock star Will Bowley who raced over for a late second half score to settle the nerves at Sixways.

And Ruddock praised the contribution of second row duo Graham Kitchener and Will Bowley, who were thrust into action after Greg Rawlinson pulled out with illness.

“Will came in after Greg dropped out with a virus and a stomach upset as well. Graham came in, who did very well for us and put the hard yards in,” added Ruddock.

“Will is a good player and tonight he reminded us of that with his 30 yard break for the try. He only found out an hour before kick-off, but we always have a number of players on standby at the game that train and prepare as if they are going to be part of the panel.

“When Greg failed his fitness test they kick in. It is part of being a professional and sometimes that can help guys who have been out of the team, they haven’t got to be anxious about stepping in. Will took his try well and I told him he could be on the wing next week.”