18th Apr, 2019

Quickfire start key to a vital win

Correspondent 20th Mar, 2019

WARRIORS chief Alan Solomons has challenged his side to start well in their crunch Gallagher Premiership clash with Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate this Saturday.

The Sixways side go into the game with last year’s Championship title winners in 11th place, seven points off the Bears in ninth and just three points ahead of basement boys Newcastle Falcons.

Defeat in the West Country and victory for the Falcons at home to Sale could send Warriors to the foot of the table and Solomons said the start of the game would be critical.

“We saw with that with Wales at the weekend, but there are also key momentum shifts during a game,” he said.

“It’s the case every single game is a massive challenge. Bristol, like every team in the Premiership, are well coached and they will be well prepared.

“They have got some quality players and it will be a tough game. They are a team that plays with tempo so it will be a reasonably quick-paced game,” he added.

England international Ben Te’o could play some part having trained with Warriors on Monday and Tuesday.

“He started four games for us before the Six Nations and played well,” Solomons said.

“He missed the Ireland match through injury, played a full match against Italy but only had three or four minutes against Scotland on Saturday so he’s not played a lot of rugby in recent weeks.”

Following the Bristol trip, Warriors are set for a night of high drama at Sixways when Harlequins visit for a huge European Challenge Cup quarter-final next Saturday (8.15pm).

Warriors secured a home quarter-final after cementing their place at the top of Pool 2 of the competition courtesy of five wins from six matches.

That run included winning all three home games with victories over Ospreys, Pau and Stade Francais in front of the Sixways crowd.

A win would set-up a semi-final against Clermont or Northampton Saints as Warriors look to take one step closer to May’s final at St James’ Park in Newcastle.

Head coach Rory Duncan has overseen the club’s European campaign and is targeting another victory as the knockout stages begin.

“The players have put in the time and effort and have shown a never-say-die attitude in this competition,” he said.

“We prepare to win every game and we will take that mindset into the quarter-final.”

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