Boss rues missed opportunity at Leeds

Mike Ruddock conceded his Worcester Warriors had failed to nail down key opportunities to win as they just came up short despite a thrilling second half fight-back against Leeds Carnegie.

Centre Alex Grove scored a dramatic try ten minutes from time at Headingley Carnegie to set up a grandstand finish to the Guinness Premiership encounter.

But missed kicks and a series of first half penalties from the boot of Leeds fly half Thomas after Worcester have infringed proved costly.

“We scored the only try of the game and had chances to win it, but we missed a number of kicks at goal and had a chance at the end,” said Ruddock.

“I probably could have done with my skipper to help us and get us through that final period. We put ourselves in a good position to win the game with ten minutes to go, but we didn’t nail that down and that has been the story of our season.

“Let’s take nothing away from Leeds, it was an excellent victory for them and they have beaten a number of good sides. They battled hard.

“But we have conceded fewer tries than Leeds and scored more tries than them, we scored the only try of the game here. We just haven’t closed off those close games.

“The effort was there, the spirit was there to comeback the way we did, but we lacked accuracy at times.”

Replacement Matthew Jones saw a late drop goal charged down and a long range penalty from inside his own half pull up short of the crossbar.

Ruddock, though, praised the fly half for putting himself in the situation to try and win the game for Warriors.

“What you want is your kicker to put his hand up and say he wants it. That is what you want to see and that is the call he made,” he said.

“If it goes over he is the hero, if it doesn’t then it’s a bad decision. But he had the confidence to do it.

“Ultimately we couldn’t watch the last few minutes go down without attempting to win the game.

“We have tried a number of different combinations this season in the team to try and get that winning formula,” added Ruddock.

“You look back at this season and in a lot of ways we have been there or thereabouts on more occasions than we have been for a number of years.

“Sixty per cent of the games we have not won we have been within seven points of the opposition, this game was another example of that.

“You go back to Saracens away at Wembley, you see the form they are in and we outscore them two tries to one and give away a lot of penalties.

“That has been our season, the effort and commitment has been there, the ability to go toe-to-toe with big teams, but we have not been able to nail down wins. It’s hugely disappointing for the club and everyone involved.”