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'He is world-class. Whenever he gets the ball, there is excitement in the stadium'

By PA
Worcester Warriors v Bristol Bears – Gallagher Premiership – Sixways Stadium

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Worcester boss Steve Diamond hailed “world-class” Scotland wing Duhan Van Der Merwe after the Warriors ended a five-match losing run in the Gallagher Premiership.

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A 19-14 victory over Bristol was Worcester’s first Premiership win since early December, and also a first since Diamond took charge.

Van Der Merwe, centre Ashley Beck and number eight Sione Vailanu scored tries, with fly-half Fin Smith kicking two conversions, but it was another sobering night for Bristol a week after they conceded 49 points at home to London Irish.

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“He (Van Der Merwe) is world-class,” Diamond told BT Sport.

“Whenever he gets the ball, there is excitement in the stadium. As soon as the ball goes to him, the crowd lift off their seats.

“We are really grateful that he is with us. He comes back from Scotland and he plays like that on a Friday night. A big pat on the back to him.

“We showed we have grown over the last few weeks. It was a really good performance, and a lot of young lads stuck their hands up.

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“The thing that really impressed me was the two young half-backs (Smith and Gareth Simpson) controlling the game for us. We will take the win, and we have moved up a place in the league.

“Training has been good – we have made the sessions short and sharp but intense – and hopefully we can build on that.

“For me, you have got to make your home ground a fortress. I’ve always come here and struggled as a visiting coach, and I am going to make every coach struggle when they come to this place.”

Warriors skipper Beck added: “We’ve had a couple of tough results this year, and it was about trying to go back to basics. We needed to grind the win out.

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“We stuck to the systems we had in place. Other than our indiscipline, we controlled them (Bristol) quite well.

“We gave away too many soft penalties in midfield that gave Bristol an attacking platform, but in the second half we played in the right areas of the field.

“We have just got to keep working like we are, and we know that sooner or later results will change.”

First-half touchdowns from skipper Steven Luatua and prop Max Lahiff – both converted by fly-half Callum Sheedy – put Bristol back in the contest after they trailed by 14 points early on.

But Vailanu’s 45th-minute try ultimately proved the difference as Bristol suffered a 10th league defeat of the campaign after they were Premiership title contenders last term.

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