Boss Richard Hill praised the guts and bravery of scrum half Paul Hodgson as he produced a stunning last ditch try saving tackle to ensure Worcester Warriors claimed a 23-16 win over Sale Sharks.
A grandstand finale saw Sale batter the home try line and win a succession of penalties with time up in the Aviva Premiership clash.
The Sharks then looked to score in the corner only for Will Addison to be brilliantly bundled out by a full stretch Hodgson.
The scrum half was hailed a hero by team-mates and fans alike after finally climbing to his feet after medical attention and Hill admitted his last action heroics had epitomised a huge defensive effort from his Warriors.
“Sale had enough possession and territory in our 22 during the game, but we produced some heroic defence and that was epitomised by Paul Hodgson at the end,” he said.
“Considering we haven’t done much defensive work in the last two games in Europe, we were superb, particularly the forwards with great defence around the fringes to repel them time and time again.
“Paul seems ok and it was a fantastic tackle. He has come back from a severe concussion so to have the guts to actual make that tackle in the corner was outstanding and shows what a character he is.
“It was a great, great try saving tackle. It could have saved us two points, although they would have had to convert it. It was bravery and a fantastic effort in the corner, that has kept us four points.”
Hill also praised the way Hodgson had teamed up with Andy Goode as the duo started a league game together for the first time.
He added: “I think they worked very well together. Paul Hodgson’s pass is very crisp and flat, he was very lively and threatens around the fringes.
“Goodey played some very good stuff today. We played a lot of rugby around our own 10-metre line at times which can be frustrating, but he also produced some real brilliance for us.”
Hill also lavished praise on wing David Lemi as he continued his red-hit scoring streak – after a four try burst against Rovigo last weekend – with a sumptuous first half effort as he showed all his pace and finishing skills to beat several Sale tackles and glide over from deep.
“The good teams have normally got one person who can do something outstanding; to score out of nothing,” insisted Hill.
“Tuilagi did it for years at Leicester, they wouldn’t be playing well but suddenly he would batter through three people and score.
“Sometimes patterns and strategy doesn’t work. You need a flash of brilliance and that was genius from David Lemi.
“That is what he was signed for, he can create from nothing and it was an absolutely outstanding effort.”
“Paul seems ok and it was a fantastic tackle. He has come back from a severe concussion so to have the guts to actual make that tackle in the corner was outstanding and shows what a character he is…"