Best – Away defeat was never option

All-action flanker Neil Best admitted encouraging words at half-time had helped Warriors secure a dramatic victory in Cornwall – and that he had never even let defeat enter his head as Worcester secured top spot in the league.

The Warriors were facing only a second defeat of the RFU Championship season as they trailed 25-7 to on-fire Cornish Pirates at The Mennaye.

However, the team regrouped in spectacular fashion and second half scores from Pat Sanderson (2), Aleki Lutui and Andy Goode capped a sensational comeback and inflicted a first home defeat of the campaign on Pirates.

Head Coach Richard Hill admitted after the game that a powerful rallying call from skipper Kai Horstmann and team-mate Best had helped instigate the turnaround.

And the no-nonsense Irish back row was delighted with the manner in which Warriors fought back to claim a bonus point win in Penzance.

“The first 15 minutes went well and then the rest of the first half was pretty shocking,” conceded Best.

“But we came out in the second half and clawed our way back into the game and forward dominance helped us win the game. We’re delighted that we won.

“We spoke about things at half-time and Kai told the team that under no circumstances were we going to lose that game.

“If you were a betting man you would have seen the score at half-time, how we played and how Cornish Pirates were so clinical, and thought only one team was going to get the result.

“But defeat was never in my thoughts. I never let it enter my head and along with Kai we got that point across. Everyone was thinking the same thing when we came out for the second half.

“It helped us that they got a man yellow carded in the second half, we could then take it through the forwards more.

“They beat us at Sixways, but we gave them a lot of chances then and they got ahead. It was the same here, when we made mistakes they capitalised and were very clinical. All credit to them.

“Cornish Pirates are a good side. This is a hard place to come, as other teams have found out, with difficult facilities and pitch to play on. The crowd is very partisan and the team is very proud, they didn’t want to get beaten.

“For a while it didn’t look so good for us, but we gathered ourselves at half-time and turned it around.”

The result means Warriors cannot be overtaken at the top of the RFU Championship and will go into the end of season play offs as top seeds.

However, with games against high flying Nottingham and London Welsh coming up, Best insisted the team would take be slowing up.

He said: “There is no stopping now. Most of the squad had not played for three weeks, it was nice to get that break and have a mini pre-season.

“We have some big games coming up now. Nottingham lost to Bedford so they will want to respond next week and London Welsh are going well. They are big games and we want to win them.”