Worcester vs Harlequins, match report: Dean Ryan 'sick' of Warriors' plucky loser tag

Worcester 20 Harlequins 24: Worcester’s first-half performance was probably their worst of the season

Sunday 03 January 2016 23:29
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The Harlequins wing Charlie Walker scores his second try against Worcester
The Harlequins wing Charlie Walker scores his second try against Worcester

Harlequins held off a great second-half rally from Worcester to move up to third in the Aviva Premiership table at a rain-sodden Sixways yesterday.

Worcester dominated possession and territory but their opponents were more clinical as the Warriors wasted opportunities and could not capitalise on the sin-binning of both Quins centres Jamie Roberts and George Lowe.

Worcester’s first-half performance was probably their worst of the season and Quins did not have to do anything exceptional to lead 24-3.

Charlie Walker got two tries and Luke Wallace the other for Quins, with Nick Evans converting all three and adding a penalty.

Worcester responded with tries from Marco Mama and Phil Dowson and a penalty try which Ryan Mills converted, while Tom Heathcote kicked a first-half penalty. However, their director of rugby, Dean Ryan, said: “I’m really disappointed, I’m sick of being described as plucky losers. We have to change that tag. Our kicking was woeful in the first half and the first 40 minutes just wasn’t good enough.”

Quins director of rugby Conor O’Shea was delighted to come away with the four points. He said: “For the first 45 or 50 minutes we were outstanding, we were disciplined and clinical and were still trying to play rugby in the difficult conditions. If we could play like that for the whole 80 minutes we would be some side. Credit to Worcester for sticking at it and to us for closing the game out.”

The major talking point of the game came in the 30th minute when Worcester’s fly-half Heathcote was pole-axed by giant Quins lock Charlie Matthews. After consulting the TMO and viewing a number of replays, referee Wayne Barnes ruled the challenge as fair, much to the disgust of the home fans and Ryan. “He knocked the guy out and he’s still dazed,” fumed Ryan.

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