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Carl Hogg expected better from Worcester

Worcester head coach Carl Hogg admitted the Warriors had slumped to an "unacceptable" defeat after they were crushed 55-19 by Aviva Premiership opponents Gloucester at Kingsholm.

While Gloucester romped to their biggest Premiership win for almost two years, Worcester are now just one point above bottom club Bristol - the clubs meet at Sixways on March 5 - as they were sunk under a seven-try onslaught.

And the manner of Worcester's demise quickly erased memories of a battling victory over Harlequins last weekend, as Gloucester moved just two points off the top-six pace.

"We were very poor," Hogg said. "We were 17-0 down after 10 or 12 minutes and playing catch-up rugby after that.

"We played in the right areas of the field last week, had high energy and we were able to hold on to the ball. Today, we made too many fundamental errors in the first 20 minutes.

"We have got to eliminate these individual errors. Gloucester took their chances, but a lot of the errors in the first-half were of our making. We were clearly second today.

"We are hugely disappointed. We came here off the back of a good win last weekend, but we were 17-0 down early on and gave ourselves a mountain to climb. When you are playing catch-up rugby, it blows out to the score it was.

"Conceding seven tries is far too many. It was a combination of things. Our errors in the first half allowed them to get a jump-start, and we were never able to recover.

"There's been some serious words today. To ship 50-odd points is unacceptable."

Gloucester posted tries by wing Jonny May, his fellow England international Charlie Sharples, Scotland centre Matt Scott, who touched down twice, flanker Jacob Rowan, plus props John Afoa and Josh Hohneck.

Skipper Greig Laidlaw kicked three conversions and a penalty before going off - a failed head injury assessment meant he did not return for the second period - while fly-half Billy Burns, who was injured early in the second-half and departed as a precaution, added a penalty and centre Billy Twelvetrees booted four conversions.

Worcester were never in the game, with wing Cooper Vuna's solo try - converted by Ryan Mills - and consolation scores from Tevita Cavubati and Alafoti Faosiliva being their only highlights, plus another Mills conversion, after they regularly fell off tackles and looked like a team set for a four-month fight to stay in English rugby's top flight.

Gloucester rugby director David Humphreys hailed May's performance - and tipped him to be part of the British and Irish Lions squad in New Zealand later this year.

"The try Jonny scored sums him up. He brings that X-factor," Humphreys said.

"Every time he touched the ball, something happened. He got us over the gain-line, he beat players and just causes defences to panic.

"That's why he is very much part of Eddie's (England head coach Eddie Jones') plans, and why I think he will go with the Lions this summer. On the ball, there are very few better than him."

And reflecting on the performance, Humphreys added: "I think coming off the back of so many close defeats in this competition, and having been left very disappointed by the last couple of weeks, today we showed how we can play.

"The basics were all there - the set-piece was good, our defence was good - and we took our opportunities.

"At this moment in time, it feels like our best performance of the season. Beating Wasps at home was an outstanding performance, but today was a case of in order to score that many points, we took our opportunities."


From Belfast Telegraph