16th Oct, 2019

Sixways clashes key ahead of Sale visit

Rob George 11th Apr, 2019

ALAN Solomons has urged his Worcester Warriors to use Fortress Sixways as the catalyst to end any relegation worries.

Warriors’ defeat to Wasps last weekend left them second-bottom in the Gallagher Premiership table but three of their final four matches of the season are at home. Sale Sharks make the visit on Saturday, with further home clashes to come against Gloucester and Saracens plus a trip to Northampton Saints.

Warriors are three points above basement boys Newcastle Falcons and two behind Leicester Tigers who play each other on Friday night, meaning victory against Sale could be critical for Solomons’ men.

“It’s a massive challenge for us. Sale had a good win against Harlequins at the weekend and they played very well.

“They are a good all-round side with some really good players and they are well-organised,” said the Warriors boss.

“We can only control the things that we can control and not worry about what is happening elsewhere. Sale are quality opposition and we need to come out and play against them.

“It’s important to play in front of your supporters at your home ground. But what is also important is the performance that we deliver.”

Warriors’ Wasps jinx continued as they returned empty-handed from their trip to the Ricoh Arena last Saturday (April 6) with a 28-16 defeat.

After Duncan Weir’s early penalty had put the visitors in front, Wasps scored three tries in 15 first-half minutes through Nathan Hughes, Marcus Watson and Zurabi Zhvania.

Warriors hit back through a Sam Lewis try, converted by Weir, and a Weir penalty to leave them trailing 21-13 at half-time, but Hughes’ second try just after the hour mark sealed the win.

Warriors had plenty of territory and possession in the first half but broke the Wasps’ line only once when Lewis burrowed over from a lineout drive. But it was a different story after the break as Warriors were restricted to just a long-range penalty from Chris Pennell.

“In the opening 20 minutes we made it very difficult for ourselves,” Solomons said. “We started brightly, got a penalty but then we didn’t handle the kick off very well. They got in behind us and got a try and then scored two more tries.

“We got back into the game in the second 20 minutes and when Chris Pennell kicked that incredible penalty early in the second half it was 21-16. But we could not get a foothold in their territory. There were five occasions when we got into their half and let them off the hook.”

Nick Schonert is expected to face Sale after missing the Wasps clash with a back spasm while Jack Singleton is back in training.

Solomons will await fitness updates on Michael Fatialofa, Bryce Heem, Jono Lance and Josh Adams before naming his team to face Sale (kick-off 3pm).

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