WARRIORS backs coach Sam Vesty has urged his side not to release the ‘pressure valve’ when attacking Harlequins in their Anglo-Welsh Cup clash at Twickenham Stoop on Sunday (kick-off 3pm).
A youthful Worcester side put in a spirited performance against Sale Sharks in the opening round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday night at Sixways, but found themselves on the wrong side of a 24-21 scoreline due to their lack of clinical play in Sharks’ 22.
A Michael Dowsett try was sandwiched between scores for Sharks’ TJ Ioane, Will Cliff and Ben Curry in the first half, as Sale enjoyed a 21-7 advantage at the break.
Academy youngster Ollie Lawrence, who has just turned 18 years old and is still at Bromsgrove School, dived over four minutes after coming on for his debut, before Tom Howe grounded at the death to seal a losing bonus point.
Vesty hailed the performances of seven players who made their Warriors debut, including Charlie Jeavons-Fellows, Nick Rigby and Ted Hill, but insists his side must not be so wasteful in the opposition’s 22 when they head to London on Sunday.
“There was some good, positive stuff (against Sale) but we didn’t take our opportunities in that second half where we put them under a lot of pressure. There were too many mistakes,” said Vesty.
“The try before half-time is always a dreadful time to concede, but I thought the boys’ attitude was incredible and they put it out there for a full 80 minutes. We just couldn’t capitalise on those opportunities we had.”
Vesty was impressed with the displays of Nick Schonert and Bryce Heem, who both made their return from injuries against Sale.
“This competition is about performing and some guys put their hand up and did really well and some guys will use this as a learning tool to see what they need to work on to become first team players,” he added.
“There were some real strong performances from the young lads and I was chuffed to see Ollie Lawrence get a try and an assist. It was great to have Nick and Bryce back too. Nick did very well and Bryce looked sharp and was a threat with the ball in hand.
“It was good to see him showing versatility by playing at full-back (as opposed to on the wing). He got a lot of the ball and caused some defenders havoc.”