Worcester head coach Thomas impressed with progress of Boyd Saints


Jonathan thomas

The Warriors are heading to Northampton on the back of a 48-3 at the hands of the Leicester Tigers.

The away team will be desperate to bounce back against a Saints side that took time off last weekend.

And Thomas knows what black, green and gold will bring to the table.

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“It’s an evolution with the Saints since the arrival of Chris Boyd,” said Thomas.

“About 18 months ago they were probably in a similar situation to ours.

“They have had a long losing streak but since then what they have done well is bring in some good young players.

“They clearly have good athletes in their field, and they have a clear identity on how they want to play.

“They play exciting rugby and it’s a well-trained team.

“We expect a quick game.

“I think the weather is going to be good, it’s a good playing surface at Franklin’s Gardens and we expect they will try to move the ball around and play some fun rugby.

“We have to make sure we are ready for this.”

Worcester has collected 180 points in five Gallagher Premiership games so far this season.

And the Tigers at Sixways gave them a rough patch.

“I thought Leicester’s performance was one of the most complete I have seen in a very long time,” said Thomas.

“They had a really good balance between the accuracy of their tactical kicks versus their physique in crashes.

“From 1 to 23 it was an incredibly complete performance so you have to congratulate the opposition.

“We are extremely disappointed. Rugby is all about pressure and pressure and we haven’t done it in the last two games.

“We talked about the Exeter game last week and the opportunities we missed in the first half.

“In last week’s game Leicester got their hands on our throats for the first 40 minutes.

“They dominated the kicking battle that ultimately gave them territory and possession and we struggled to get out of our own half.

“In the second half we made a couple of tactical changes at half time which ultimately gave us territory and possession which led to periods of sustained attack in their half. .

“They got a yellow card and we got some opportunities that we didn’t take.

“The game is very different if you score first and go from 22-3 to 22-10, then go.

“We scored quite a few points in the first three laps. There is nothing wrong with our ability to attack.

“In the last two games it has been our ability to exert or maintain pressure on the opposition, either through our direct mistakes or through very good play from the opposition.”

Worcester has not won since the first day of the season, against the London Irish.

And Thomas said: “When you lose a few games like we did, it’s just about pulling out a bit.

“We got together as a group in the preseason and what you’re trying to do is add layers to a new group.

“It’s like building a new house, you lay the foundation and try to build it from there.

“That’s what we did and we did it pretty well until the third round.

“You have to step back a bit and focus on a few areas of the game where you want to be effective.”

With 13 teams having their own Premiership talents this season, Thomas believes it will be the most competitive campaign yet.

He added: “I firmly believe this is the most competitive Premiership I have ever seen. Every 1-13 team is capable of beating any other team on their day.

“There is great talent in every team in the competition and the way the game is officiated lends itself to attack.

“You see people scoring tryout bonus points every weekend.

“Eight to ten years ago trying out bonus points was a rarity, but you get to see big, high scoring contests and try out bonus points most weekends now.

“The way the game is refereed and the way the laws are interpreted allows more attacks.

“Each team is well trained and well conditioned and there is some good talent. So it’s a really exciting competition.”


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