Head Coach Richard Hill hailed the ‘intensity, commitment and passion’ of his Worcester Warriors as they secured a 12-3 victory over Saracens in the Aviva Premiership at Sixways.
Fly half Andy Goode contributed all the points in the first half as Warriors produced a dislay packed full of the will to win to stun high-flying Saracens.
Hill described the performance as a big step forward after admitting he had felt his players had gone back into their shell in recent weeks.
“What a performance and we were transformed,” he said. “We had been going into our shells a little bit after a terrific start to the season.
“The last three matches we know we have been feeling a bit of pressure, the expectation of the club. The whole club had gone into its shell, certainly on the playing side.
“Tonight we have come out and given everything we possibly could. There weren’t any tries, but the intensity, commitment and passion for a full 80 minutes was great.
“There wasn’t a minute when you could see a lull and that is a big step forward for us.
“Everyone who has watched Worcester has seen good performances for 20 minutes and then we drop off. But, for me, from the kick-off the intensity was there until the last, we didn’t want them to have a bonus point even at the end. That was terrific see.”
Hill admitted he also felt his team could have made it an easier night as they created line breaks but failed to turn them into points.
“There was a transformation in our attitude and our passion. There was a fair bit of decent rugby too,” he added.
“The players realised at the end, when we were in the huddle, that they had enough possession and territory and line breaks to win that game by a comfortable margin. In the end 12-3 is good enough, but we could have won by more.
“We are getting into the opposition 22. Last year we couldn’t do that – now we are. We are not quite finishing off the tries we should do, but we will get there.
“To make life a little bit more comfortable, to get one score or one try would make the difference.
“But having said that, it was more comfortable for all of us in the last few minutes than it normally is here at Sixways.”
Warriors now focus on champions Harlequins next Friday night and Hill is determined his team continue to build during a crucial period.
“That puts a marker down for us,” he stated. “These next seven games, which finishes with Leicester on January 4, will define whether or not we have an opportunity in the latter stages of the season to get into the top six of the Aviva Premiership and the quarter final of the Amlin Challenge Cup.
“This was the first game of seven and it was important to get off to a good start. I think you could see that every player was desperate to win.
“We have one down out of seven and we have a huge game down at Quins next week. That result will do a power of good for the whole squad.”