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Keep your cool against bogey side, Ryan tells his players
WARRIORS’ Aviva Premiership life is once again on the line this weekend and Dean Ryan has challenged his players to keep their cool.
Worcester have never beaten Exeter Chiefs, who visit Sixways tomorrow (3pm), in the top-flight, but must do so now when it matters most.
Director of rugby Ryan insists his players need to approach the game sensibly and not let the magnitude of the occasion cloud their judgement.
He said: “I don’t think this is about throwing all our emotion in. We have to get our technical stuff right and show a good understanding of what is coming at us. We must get that balance right.
“At the start of the season when we got emotional, we tended to have a huge drop-off in knowing the job and the detail.
“We have been able to get back on a more even keel. We know the surrounding emotion around this game.
“It’s not about staying detached but about understanding what you can control through the week.
“We have been under pressure since November, it’s actually not that unique.
“Results have been difficult. There has been the transitional nature of people staying and going at the same time as well as trying to keep pretty tight around the group that is going out every week. I think we have done a tremendous job of getting that right.
“We have just got to see if we can fight a little longer, get a result that will keep us alive and see if we can take it further to the end of the season.”
Ryan added: “There was huge relief after our Newcastle win because we have been so close and the stigma of not being able to close out a game was starting to eat at us.
“The insecurity of being five points in front with the clock ticking has been at us throughout the season.
“The relief gave us a huge boost, but the pressure just moved two weeks down the line and goes into this game.
“We just want to find out whether that improvement has come in time to get us out of jail and give us a survival lifeline.
“We are a different side now (to the one Exeter beat in the LV= Cup at Sixways) and want to see if we can stack it up against a team that has caused us problems in terms of physicality, their game and their work-rate.
“We want to see if we can get ourselves another week’s breathing space.”
Meanwhile, Warriors lock Huw Taylor starts in England under 18s’ opening game of their FIRA/AER European Championship defence against Portugal in Poland today (11am BST).