DIRECTOR of rugby Dean Ryan has accused the referee of not giving Worcester Warriors a shot at snatching victory from the jaws of defeat at Gloucester on Saturday.
Newly-promoted Warriors, who scored three tries at Kingsholm, were left to settle for a losing bonus point as the Cherry and Whites secured the bragging rights in the M5 derby.
However after withstanding a barrage of late pressure, Worcester launched one last attack before Darren Barry’s pass to GJ Van Velze was ruled to have gone forward.
And Ryan said his players were left frustrated as he believed referee Craig Maxwell-Keys had opportunities to penalise Gloucester in the final move.
“We are disappointed not to have sneaked it in the end,” he said. “There were a number of offsides at the end, but he just did not want to make a decision in the last five minutes.
“So we hung in there again and got a bonus point, which three weeks ago people would not have seen coming, but where this team is now it thinks it could have won.
“We are not hiding from the fact we withstood a huge amount of pressure, but if we were in it at the end you deserve at shot at it and we did not feel the man in the middle felt we deserved a shot at the end.
“There were a lot of offsides which could have been easily picked up in that final surge which could have decided the game.”
But when asked whether he felt Maxwell-Keys was too inexperienced for a big derby clash, Ryan added: “No – and that’s the second time I have had to answer that, so maybe you should write things instead of trying to get me to say them and hang me out.”
Despite coming under pressure for long periods, Warriors struck three times, with Cooper Vuna notching up two tries, and Ryan felt this showed his side had threats in attack.
“We have got five points and we have been competitive three weeks,” Ryan added.
“We came into the Premiership looking to close the gap of the Championship and the irony is it was not the game that was killing us it was field position and some of the basics of the game.
“So we can focus on that because we look a dangerous side and we looked more dangerous than them – albeit their third try was outstanding. We looked more dangerous in phases, but we have just got to get more field position.”