“OF course we can do it” – that was battle-hardened Warriors boss Dean Ryan’s response when asked if Worcester can still keep their place in the Aviva Premiership.
After 17 consecutive failed attempts, the Sixways side finally registered their first victory of a desperately difficult season when they claimed a tense 17-12 success at Kingston Park against Newcastle Falcons yesterday.
With their relegation rivals picking up a losing bonus point from the clash, the three-point swing in Warriors’ favour narrowed the margin between the two teams to nine with four games remaining for Ryan’s men to save their skin.
Worcester have a week off this weekend, before Exeter come to Sixways on April 12 for a game that will most likely decide Warriors’ fate – win and they still have hope, lose and relegation again looks certain.
Following that, Ryan takes his side on the road in daunting trips to Bath (April 19) and Saracens (May3), before the final-day local derby with Gloucester at Sixways.
Falcons’ run-in consists of trips to London Irish and Wasps, as well as home engagements with Saracens and Exeter.
On his side’s chance of staying up, bullish Ryan stated: “Of course we can do it. We always knew we had to win at Newcastle and we have to win again and get a bonus point and take it to the last weekend of the season - and a lot of strange things happen on the last weekend of the season.
“This gives us life. This group don’t want to stumble through, they want to fight and make it difficult for other teams. We know we have to pull off a miracle match somewhere, but you never know.”
On Warriors’ weary travelling fans who made the four-hour trek to Newcastle, Ryan added: “It was brilliant to see the fans up there.
“We are a tough side to support sometimes. We are really thankful of the support we get because it is tough. It’s difficult when we’re going through the changes we’re going through but I hope they get the same fix that we do by seeing what’s happening and how strong this group can be as a team.
“We’re not pretending we’ve become a top-six side but we’ve become a pretty strong group and that’s the first place for us starting to move forward.
“We always said if we could get a win it would change things. Just sadly we left it all the way to here. If we had got it last week it would have been quite lively. It will be lively, let’s see.
“We’ve got some tough opposition coming but let’s see what a win does to us and takes off the pressure. We are going to enjoy ourselves.”