Poor start proves downfall for Hill

Head Coach Richard Hill pinpointed a poor start from the Warriors as the catalyst for defeat in the festive clash at Sixways as Leicester Tigers ran out 32-13 winners in the Aviva Premiership.

A full house of 12,024 packed into the home of the Warriors to back Hill’s men in the final game of 2011.

But a quick-fire start from Tigers saw tries from Matt Smith and Toby Flood open up a commanding lead that Leicester never looked like giving up.

“We lost it in the first 20 minutes,” admitted Hill. “It was a very poor start, unlike us, and you can’t do that at home in front of your own crowd.

“We needed a good start to get the crowd behind you and put the pressure on Leicester – that was the worst possible start. After that it was hard work to catch up.

“I thought the sin binning on half-time didn’t help us either, but having said that we had a strategy for the first ten minutes of the second half to concede no points and when Chris Jones came back on to step the pace back up.

“That first 15 minute period of the second half we were 10-0 up, we scored a try and penalty, but the machine of Leicester had some good subs to come on and they played with good pace. It was too much to catch up.

“There was a lack of urgency, we were slow to react and didn’t come off the line aggressively in the first 20 minutes and didn’t have any continuity,” added Hill.

“We had identified that Leicester don’t play with too much width because they have Toby Flood and no-one at 12 who can distribute. Most if it comes off Flood so we had to watch him. But we let him straight down the middle.

“We didn’t do a job. Yes, he was very good, but we identified that he had to be bottled up and we didn’t do that. We didn’t stick to our defensive strategy in the first 20 minutes.

“To allow Flood so much space was inexcusable, but he is good at picking out people to run at. That is good play and he was always looking for our front row and attacking them.

“He picks out the slower front five, but we should have been tighter and not allowed him the space.”

Worcester had threatened a stunning comeback when Marcel Garvey dived over to cut the lead back to seven points.

However, Warriors almost immediately conceded again through Louis Deacon and Hill admitted his team needed to front up around the fringes.

“We scored a superb try, a real 15 man effort, and then gave a soft one away around the fringes,” he said.

“They hurt us with a pick and go and where we have conceded tries this season, against Newcastle and against Wasps, it has been around that area where we are just a bit soft to soak up.

“I was very disappointed after scoring a brilliant try like that to concede a try that you don’t expect to. We have got to be better at defending around those areas.

“The old machine that is Leicester is starting to roll,” admitted Hill. “They came here with a good attitude and they are in a position where they need big points from every game now to get into that top four.

“They are a tough team, but the first 20 minutes killed us. You can’t do that, you have to get points up against Tigers.

“Of all the games this year, that is the biggest disappointment. We were out of it and you could tell after 20 minutes that it was going to be a long way back.”

"We needed a good start to get the crowd behind you and put the pressure on Leicester – that was the worst possible start. After that it was hard work to catch up."