Saints expecting 'massive emotional response' from wounded Warriors

Phil Dowson has warned Saints to prepare for 'a massive emotional response' from wounded Worcester Warriors on Friday night.

By Tom Vickers
Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 7:00 am
Phil Dowson and Sam Vesty
Phil Dowson and Sam Vesty

The side from Sixways have been struggling this season, shipping 180 points in five Gallagher Premiership games so far.

The Warriors were thrashed 48-3 on home soil by Leicester Tigers last weekend.

But Dowson believes that will only make them more dangerous when they travel to Northampton this week.

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The Saints forwards coach said: "The first thing I'd say is that I know guys in that environment; I know Ethan Waller, I know Niall Annett and they are very proud and competitive and they will be hurting.

"You'll see a massive emotional response from them because they're under pressure and they're going to come out swinging.

"We've got to make sure we really focus on what we're doing because we understand there will be an emotional response.

"All the words coming out of their camp is that what has happened is not acceptable so we have to make sure we're in the right frame of mind to put our game on the field and be clinical ourselves."

Last weekend's game at Sixways was a meeting between Saints' next two opponents, with Leicester Tigers looming large on the horizon ahead of the October 30 clash at the Gardens.

"Worcester had plenty of opportunity in that game - I don't think it was one-way traffic," Dowson said.

"Worcester had plenty of chances around the Leicester 10 and couldn't make it count.

"As soon as Leicester got the opportunity, they took it.

"Leicester were clinical in the first half and as soon as you get multiple scores ahead, teams start to chase.

"As soon as you start to chase, you do things you wouldn't do in training, you're forced to play a bit more because you have to score.

"Leicester capitalised on that scoreboard pressure."

Saints may have double Worcester's seven Premiership points so far, but the black, green and gold have been far from happy with their own performances while winning three of their four games.

And Dowson said: "In the first four games we've got three wins and we were disappointed with our performance in all of those.

"We lost narrowly to Wasps last time out and we were disappointed with that performance also.

"Generally, when we perform well, we win, so we need to perform as well as possible as often as possible.

"If we're not performing well and we can still scrap it out and still get over the line, that's great, but it's not a long-term solution for how we want to play the game."