6:00am Monday 24th March 2014
By Tom Guest
IT’s all well and good heaping praise on Warriors for their valiant failure against Wasps, but it was exactly that – a failure.
Not only that, it was the club’s 22nd league failure in a row and you can make all the excuses you like for why they haven’t won in so long, but the simple answer is the current squad isn’t good enough.
That may sound harsh to the ‘rose-tinted’ section of the club’s fanbase, and there are certainly plenty of players within the Worcester set-up who are more than good enough to grace the Aviva Premiership, but unfortunately for them the league table doesn’t lie.
Rotherham hold the unwanted record for the most consecutive top-flight losses with 30, but Warriors get closer by the week and, on current form, could easily become only the second team – after Titans in 2003-04 – to go through an entire Premiership season losing every game.
It is a good job for director of rugby Dean Ryan that the powers that be at Worcester have bought into his ‘long-term vision’ because at many other clubs, if their top man had presided over such a dire run, they would have been out on their ear long ago.
You can’t deny there is a massive rebuilding job under way at Sixways, but that will now almost certainly involve another year of consolidation in the Championship after the latest gut-wrenching tale of woe to befall the downtrodden club.
Under Ryan’s predecessor, Richard Hill, Worcester were often a rudderless ship that lurched from one disaster to the next.
There’s a new man at the helm of the Titanic but, like the famous ‘unsinkable’ vessel, Warriors look to be sinking fast.
Although Worcester were regularly woeful under Hill’s guidance, at least they occasionally won a game.
It was written in the stars that Andy Goode would have the final say when Wasps came to town and he did just that by slotting the simple conversion from the final kick of the match to drive the cruellest of daggers deep into the heart of his former club.
If he’d had his way, Goode would still have been at Sixways this season and, with his metronomic boot, it is more than likely Warriors wouldn’t be in this dreadful predicament.
It was Hill’s decision not to offer the former England fly-half a new deal, only for the head coach to subsequently be sacked and replaced by Ryan, who has – on paper at least – fared much worse in the Sixways hot seat.
It is therefore easy to imagine the nuggety ex-England scrum-half, who is now in charge of French second-division outfit Rouen, allowing himself a wry smile over a nice glass of vin rouge and thinking that maybe things didn’t turn out so badly after all.
It is now well over a year since Worcester won an Aviva Premiership match – the last time they tasted success was the 29-23 victory over Wasps at Sixways on March 1 last year.
The Adams Park side were also on the receiving end when Warriors last won an away match in the league, way back on New Year’s Day 2012.
All things considered, it is a miserable time to be a Warriors fan. Roll on the cricket season...
AT A GLANCE 6m: Pennell pen 3-0 29m: Goode pen 3-3 43m: Goode pen 3-6 54m: Betty try 8-6 64m: Lamb pen 11-6 80m: Cooper-Woolley try 11-11 80m: Goode con 11-13
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