HEAD coach Carl Hogg insists Warriors need to recover quickly before hosting Gloucester on Friday after admitting the players had ‘no more gas in the tank’ in the opening-round defeat at Saracens.
Hogg praised his team’s ‘collective spirit’ for the first-half display at Twickenham last Saturday in their Aviva Premiership opener, after restricting the European and English champions to just six points going into half-time.
But the former Melrose, Edinburgh and Scotland back row was disappointed to see all the effort that had been put into defending finally taking its toll after the break and they conceded 29 unanswered points in the second period.
They will look to bounce back on Friday night when Gloucester become the first Premiership visitors to the new artificial surface at Sixways (7.45pm).
“I thought we showed a huge amount of effort and character in the first-half, but the amount of territory and possession Saracens had was always going to cause us problems,” said Hogg.
“It was a pretty level contest at half-time, but the amount of defending we had to do was always going to take its toll in the second-half.
“Jonny Arr and Ryan Lamb did very well to keep us composed and to get us out nice and clean, but Saracens are the masters of applying pressure and they just kept squeezing us in.
“It was disappointing to concede ten points straight after the interval. We just couldn’t weather the storm. It was always going to be a big task.
“We knew we had to swing the momentum back in our favour at the start of the second period and retain possession. We wanted to gain high field position but it proved too difficult. Saracens are best team in Europe and showed that on the pitch.
“Despite the result, we showed great collective spirit. Hopefully against Gloucester we’ll have more opportunities to put our game plan out on the field. We’ve got a lot of recovering to do, but we’ll have our energy back ready for Friday night.”
Hogg also praised the efforts of debutants Ben Te’o and Jackson Willison.
“Te’o had a big chance to score against the run of play and Willison showed some real promise with ball in hand,” he added. “It’s been a steep learning curve for them, especially when your first game is against one of the best sides in Europe.”
Gloucester will also be looking to bounce back from an opening-round defeat, losing to Leicester despite leading by 24 points at one stage.