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Worcester boss Dean Ryan frustrated after narrow defeat to Harlequins

Published 03/01/2016

Worcester director of rugby Dean Ryan was left frustrated after a defeat to Harlequins
Worcester director of rugby Dean Ryan was left frustrated after a defeat to Harlequins

Worcester boss Dean Ryan was left a frustrated man despite seeing his side come back from 24-3 down to secure a bonus point against Harlequins at a rain-sodden Sixways.

A lethargic Worcester had trailed by 21 points after 45 minutes with a Charlie Walker double and a Luke Wallace effort for Quins. Nick Evans converted all three and added a penalty.

Worcester 's second-half rally saw them score tries from Marco Mama and Phil Dowson and a penalty try which Ryan Mills converted. Tom Heathcote kicked their first-half penalty.

Ryan said: "I'm really disappointed, I'm sick of being described as plucky losers as we have to change that tag and I'm fed up of being close.

"Our kicking was woeful in the first half, we were trying to thread the ball through the eye of a needle and the first 40 minutes just wasn't good enough.

"We haven't got the experience of a Nick Evans or a Danny Care, who moved us around with some pin-point kicking and Care's kick to create their third try was outstanding."

In contrast, Quins boss Conor O'Shea was delighted to come away with the four points after the 24-20 triumph. 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.

"Then we got on the wrong end of the referee but it's a precious win as you have to be 10 points better than the opposition to win away from home.

"I couldn't see how Jamie Roberts could be sin-binned but 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 medical attention, Heathcore left the field and did not return. 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.

Unsurprisingly O'Shea saw it differently. He said: "Even when you slowed all the replays down, you could see there was nothing in it. It was absolutely fine and the officials were spot on."

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