Boss wants team to raise bar at Pirates

Richard Hill insists his Warriors will be striving to build momentum ahead of the play-offs and not out for revenge in West Cornwall – and revealed he believes defeat to the Cornish Pirates earlier in the season actually helped the squad kick-on and develop.

Worcester return to league action with a long trip to Penzance after a three-week break away from the RFU Championship.

The squad will face a high flying Cornish Pirates team that has yet to taste defeat on home soil at the Mennaye Field and are the only team to defeat Warriors in the league this season.

Head Coach Hill, though, revealed revenge was not even on the agenda for the Sixways club as he looks to build the team up ahead of the play-offs that kick-off in mid-March.

And he admitted defeat to the Pirates back in October had been a painful but ultimately beneficial result for the squad as they could concentrate on performances and not just clocking up victories.

“I can honestly say that nobody here has talked about revenge. Everyone is concentrating on just keep moving forward and raising the bar and so it is just another game,” he said.

“We know the Pirates will building it up, if they can beat us home and away that gives them real confidence going into the play-offs. We certainly don’t want to give them a boost and will go down there to try and beat them.

“But in the grand scheme of things, if it was absolutely make-or-break to win this game I wouldn’t have had the squad not playing for three weeks prior to it.

“I actually think the defeat to them in October did us good,” added Hill “The longer you go unbeaten you have a monkey on your back and everyone talks about it, what happens then is the pressure builds and I could almost sense it by that game.

“We weren’t playing, it became a safety first environment and there was more talk about how long we could go unbeaten and could we go the whole season unbeaten.

“I know this league better than some of the people that were saying that and I was a little disturbed by it. I was not too displeased we lost that because suddenly we had lost in the Championship. It was difficult to take, don’t get me wrong, and I don’t like losing. But the pressure valve was released.

“It meant we could play and concentrate on performing as opposed to just going out there and winning.

“At the end of the day, we have to get our performances right for the play-offs. There is no point playing in your shell and battling to wins and then getting to the play-offs ot having developed as a team.

“Losing that cracked everything. We went on to look at our game a bit more, in the bigger picture it probably was a good thing to happen.”

Hill also insisted that the fact on the game was being televised had not even entered the team mindset ahead of kick-off.

“We have got bigger things to worry about than whether we are on TV. We have got to concentrate on these play-offs – whether it is on TV or not is irrelevant,” he added.

“Of course it would be nice to put a good performance on in front of the cameras and show Championship rugby in a good light. It is a good competition with good clubs.

“It should be a good game. Pirates play good rugby and we play some 15-man stuff. You have two teams that want to play so we could have a showpiece for the league.”