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Steve Diamond fronts up after debut loss as Worcester DoR

By PA
Steve Diamond /Getty

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Steve Diamond says that Worcester are “a work in progress” after his leadership era began with a 29-13 Gallagher Premiership defeat against Northampton at Sixways.

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Former Sale Sharks boss Diamond, currently working as Worcester’s lead rugby consultant, will succeed Alan Solomons in the post of Warriors rugby director this summer.

Head coach Jonathan Thomas departed the club earlier this week, but Diamond can take considerable encouragement from a battling second-half performance that produced tries for prop Rory Sutherland and centre Ashley Beck.

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“I thought we were competitive, but the scoreline doesn’t suggest that,” he said.

“Our defensive frailties were evident in the first half, but it is a work in progress and we will be putting some graft into those areas.

“Half-time was reasonably calm, and I thought we were in the game in the second half. We missed a couple of opportunities.

“We must have given four of the penalties that we gave away in the attacking 22, which is unacceptable at this level.

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“We have got great players and we have got a good coaching team, and it just needs a little direction and little bit more tuning in on the basics, and I think we will be OK.

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“We couldn’t get the result that certainly I was looking for, but there are a lot of positives to take out of it.”

Sutherland and his Scotland team-mate Duhan Van Der Merwe both produced strong performances in their final domestic game before the Guinness Six Nations, and Worcester now face tough assignments against Leicester and Sale without them.

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Diamond added: “Your stars are here for 60 per cent of the season – we know that when we sign them – but what we’ve got to do is make sure we can handle opposition without those players.

“Before my tenure here, Worcester were the worst defensive side in the competition.

“I am not surprised at that when you see how easy it is to score against us, and the job in hand is shoring up those areas which sides exploit at the moment.”

Northampton, who remain firmly in play-off contention, cruised clear through tries by centre Rory Hutchinson, hooker Sam Matavesi and scrum-half Alex Mitchell, with Wales captain Dan Biggar kicking two conversions and a penalty.

Saints led 22-3 before Warriors’ revival, and then had to wait until 10 minutes from time before they could claim a bonus-point triumph when substitute hooker James Fish scored their fourth try and Biggar converted.

Northampton rugby director Chris Boyd said: “I was pretty happy with the first half. We were pretty accurate and pretty clinical, and scored three tries.

“But we made too many errors in the middle third in the second half. Our game-management in the second period was pretty average, to be honest. It was a bit of a game of two halves for us.

“It is a very tough league, and you can’t do better than get five points away from home, so I am happy with that part of it.”

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