London Irish boss Tom Coventry rues missed chances against Worcester
London Irish boss Tom Coventry was left to rue missed chances from his side as they fell to a 12-6 loss against Worcester in their relegation battle at Sixways.
Two late penalties from Greig Tonks secured Irish a valuable bonus point but four penalties from Tom Heathcote was enough to ensure that Worcester all-but sealed their place in the Aviva Premiership next season.
Coventry had seen Irish miss two golden chances in the second half as Blair Cowan and Ciaran Hearn both dropped vital passes when the try-line beckoned and, up until Tonks kicked his penalties, they had declined to take valuable points with straightforward kicks.
Coventry said: "The lost opportunities were telling; dropped passes were a sign of our confidence levels for when you are playing with confidence, you take those scoring chances.
"In hindsight, maybe we should have taken the kicking points but I haven't got a problem with it as we discussed it earlier in the week and felt our driving line-out was strong as we have been working hard on it.
"At least, we've got a bonus point, which we weren't getting earlier in the season as we were guilty of coming away with nothing."
With this latest defeat, Irish's clash at Newcastle on April 15 takes on even more importance with the Falcons just four points ahead.
Coventry said: "Worcester are now safe so Newcastle is now a massive game but we are now a little bit more secure with our team selection as we have had a number of players returning from injury."
Worcester boss Dean Ryan was full of praise for his squad after they overcame an illness bug in the camp to record their fourth consecutive Premiership win for the first time in their history.
"We've had seven guys in isolation through illness. They couldn't come into work so it was difficult to prepare and there were some weary legs at the end," he said.
"It was an outstanding defensive display in horrendous conditions and up against a very good side, who were desperate opponents.
"In the last five or six weeks, Irish have been on an upward trajectory and we knew they would be hard to beat.
"It was always going to be an attritional contest as they are well-organised but we had them worked out defensively and put a lot of pressure on them to do something miraculous."