20th May, 2019

100 points and counting, but Cox insists holes will be plugged in leaky defence

Aaron Wise 20th Sep, 2017

BACK ROW Matt Cox is confident defensive coach Omar Mouneimne will ‘plug the holes’ in the club’s leaky defence.

Warriors have already shipped 100 points in just three Premiership matches against Newcastle, Wasps and Exeter which Cox put down to individual mistakes.

The Redditch-born player, who has featured in all three games, believes Mouneimne’s ‘confrontational’ approach to the side’s defence will soon halt the landslide.

The former Italy defence coach joined Worcester at the end of last season from the Durban-based Sharks, where alongside Warriors director of rugby Gary Gold, he helped them reach the quarter-finals of last year’s Super Rugby.

During that campaign, Sharks boasted the fewest points conceded and the second-fewest tries conceded out of all 18 teams in the competition, something Warriors are desperate to replicate.

“If you look at a lot of the tries they’re not from a system error as such, it’s more individual mistakes,” said Cox.

“We’ve made a few errors but it’s about plugging those holes and making it right so we can move in the right direction.

“The game is always changing, so there’s always something in our defence that needs tuning or adapting.

“Omar’s a great coach to have. He’s very big on the way we address our defence and his sessions are very physical and good for the team. He makes you want to give that extra five per cent.

“He won’t take a backward step from anyone and tells you exactly what he thinks. He wears his heart on his sleeve which is what we need from a defensive coach. His tackling style is different too, he wants a lot more confrontation.

“He cares about this club and shows a lot of passion so you don’t want to let him down.”

Warriors take on Gloucester at Kingsholm on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm) and Cox, who signed for the Cherry and Whites from Worcester in 2010 for four seasons before moving back up the M5 to Warriors, admits he is looking forward to the derby.

“Down at Kingsholm on a Friday night is a great occasion to play rugby. I’ll enjoy it and catch up with a few familiar faces while I’m down there.”

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