Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Hill: We could have snatched win

Richard Hill was thrilled with his side's second-half display

Worcester head coach Richard Hill felt his side would have registered a shock win at Franklin's Gardens if the game against Northampton had gone on for another five minutes.

The Warriors have not won on the road in the Aviva Premiership since April 2009, but they came back from 37-3 down in the second half to register two bonus points with four tries in the last 16 minutes in a 37-31 defeat.

"The Northampton coaches were very worried next to me. If the clock had gone on for another five minutes I think we would have sneaked that," Hill said. "I was thinking it was going to be a difficult week with a big game against London Irish on Friday coming up, but that last 20 minutes has certainly lifted spirits."

He added: "I was annoyed about the first half. We got well and truly beaten, but it was a special second half, we played some good stuff and the passes stuck."

For an hour Northampton dominated with five tries - two from Luther Burrell and one each from Courtney Lawes, Vasily Artemyev and Mike Haywood - seemingly ending the contest.

But Worcester's bench made a huge impact as replacements Jonny Arr, Josh Matavesi, Josh Drauniniu and Ollie Hayes scored tries, while, with time up, Andy Goode secured the losing bonus point with a retaken conversion because Northampton charged too soon.

Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder admitted his side, which has won four out of four to start the Aviva Premiership season in impressive fashion, "relaxed" after running away with the game for an hour.

"We made a few changes and disappointingly they got back in the game," Mallinder said.

"I don't think it was panic (among the coaches), it was frustration that we got away from doing the basics and our defence crumbled.

"We didn't hit touch when we had opportunities and we lost the ball in attack. If you start doing that you are always going to be on the back foot."

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