Wasps Director of Rugby Lee Blackett has lavished praise on Tom Willis, the young brother of England flanker Jack Willis, who scored a wonder try to help Wasps defeat Worcester Warriors 17 – 3.
James Gaskell and Tom Willis scored Wasps’ tries with Jimmy Gopperth converting both. Charlie Atkinson added a penalty.
"A try for Jack, from his little brother Tom" ??
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Worcester’s response was a try from Nick David with Jamie Shillcock adding a conversion and two penalties but they failed to capitalise on their dominance of territory and possession which ultimately cost them the game.
Blackett was full of praise for man of the match Willis, who scored an exceptional try which was the highlight of the match.
Willis had seen his younger brother, Jack, stretchered off on Saturday in England’s win over Italy at Twickenham but overcame the disturbing scene to perform heroics.
Blackett said: “Tom and Jack are incredibly tight and Tom was really upset at having to witness that. But to get over it and put in a performance like that was remarkable.
“In the first half we were impressive and took our chances but we didn’t manage the game well after that and gave away too many field positions.
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“I don’t think I can remember a game where we’ve been so down on the penalty count yet come away winning.”
Worcester head coach Jonathan Thomas endorsed Premiership Rugby’s decision to dispense with relegation this season.
The defeat means Worcester remain in 11th position with 11 points and just one point ahead of Gloucester at the bottom and obviously in view of their recent form they would be prime candidates for relegation if it had taken place.
Thomas said: “It’s the common sense decision as the game needs a period of stability in the present climate with businesses set to lose considerable sums.
World Rugby attempted to address the issue in 2020, but the practice remains very much in use and apparently legal, depending on ref interpretation. https://t.co/kSPTVYaAyp
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“The Championship hasn’t even started yet and it wouldn’t be fair to relegate a side based on COVID results.
“It has had no bearing on the way we have approached this season as we will continue with our process to develop a strong side.”
However, Thomas was concerned at his side’s continuing failure to win matches in which they have dominated.
He said: “Winning or losing is a habit but it’s not acceptable that we keep losing and we should have won today.
“We didn’t have the rub of the green in the first half but some of the problems were of our own making, especially the tackling for Tom Willis’ try.
“We were 17-3 down at half-time and the boys were quiet so I challenged them to be victims or fighters and I was pleased with our second-half effort.
“Our set piece dominated and our discipline was very good but they were more clinical than us and we missed our strike players, Ollie Lawrence and Melani Nanai.”
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