Boss high praise for terrific Taulava impact

Richard Hill highlighted the performance of Number Eight Semisi Taulava after the victory over Saracens – but admitted his team had been full of heroes on the night.

Taulava, a summer recruit from Rotherham Titans, was a constant menace for Saracens with his ball carrying display and big tackles to the delight of the Sixways chief.

“There were some big performances from a lot of people. Semisi carried and carried,” said Hill.

“At the start of the year we had trouble getting 40 minutes out of him, but he has been getting fitter and fitter every week. He could have lasted the full 80 tonight, even though I took him off towards the end.

“Every time I was going to take him off he made another superb line break. That was his best game for us tonight.

Hill also praised the performance of tighthead prop John Andress who shone in the loose and got better and better in the set piece as the night wore on.

“John Andress was terrific around the park,” he added. “I was disappointed early on because we had two penalties against us for early engagement which seems to be a serial offence if you have a number three on your back.

“He responded in the right way for the next 65 minutes, he was exceptional and that is the most I have seen him carry and be hungry and tackle. In the loose he had a terrific game and maybe Euan Murray arriving put a bit of motivation as well.

“There were some big performances in the backs too. Chris Pennell has been showing signs of that improvement, for a couple of games he has been very solid and really got some leg drive. He has confidence back.

“Nikki Walker, alongside Chris, I was delighted with too. That was by some distance the best game he has had since he has been here. With David Lemi coming back into us next week, that back three looks dangerous.”

The only downside for Hill was Joe Carlisle limping off after 14 minutes, but the Head Coach was confident the damage was hopefully not too serious.

“Someone sat on him and he strained the ligaments on the inside of his ankle – I hope it is not too serious,” said Hill.

“I was disappointed because I wanted to see the combination with Andy Goode at ten and Joey at 12. We only saw it for 15 minutes unfortunately, but I don’t think the injury is too bad.”