Coach Gary Meechan praised a young Worcester Warriors squad for grasping the opportunity to showcase their talents as they battled to third place in the third pool of the JP Morgan Asset Management Premiership 7s Series at Edgeley Park.
Meechan and Andrew Stanley headed up the 12-man squad, that included eight Academy players, for the competition.
Worcester impressed the fans throughout the evening as they defeated Leicester Tigers before pushing eventual champions Newcastle Falcons – despite having to play with a man down for a period – all the way with a two-try burst from Sam Miller
Warriors eventually just missed out on a place in the finals at Twickenham Stoop next Friday as they lost a winner-takes- all clash with hosts Sale Sharks.
However, Meechan and Stanley were delighted with the manner in which the squad have shown great resolve and desire throughout the evening and earned them praise from many observers for the manner in which they played the game.
“This was a massive opportunity for the squad and the one thing we said all along, regardless of what happens and scores, was it was a chance for them to come out and show what they could do,” said Meechan.
“Ability is of no account if you don’t take the opportunity – that is the big thing that we impressed on the squad this week and they grasped the opportunity.
“I heard at the end that Sale had grasped the result with two hands and the final win, but our boys also grasped the opportunity they were given and showed what we are as an Academy and what we are as a club.
“It’s difficult to pick out players on a night like tonight because they all gave everything they could,” he added. “But the standout player for me has got to be Nile Dacres with his two try-saving tackles. He showed massive heart.
“The tries that we did make and take were immense. We lost our shape in attack a couple of times, but we are not a fully trained sevens side.
“Both Stan and myself believe that sevens has something that we preach in the Academy – that is about basic skill. About being able to pass a ball correctly, being able to deal with a one-man tackle and breakdown.
“The talk at the end with the squad was about their commitment to the task, commitment to the tackle and breakdown. Our unforced error rate, compared to a lot of the other sides, was low and that shows our skill base is good.”