WARRIORS director of rugby Dean Ryan believes his side can get better and smarter after their last-gasp 13-12 win against Northampton Saints at Sixways.

Ryan admitted he would have been very disappointed had Warriors slipped to defeat after failing to convert four second-half penalties.

“We probably should have been a bit more in front before the drop goal at the end,” said Ryan.

“Tommy (Heathcote) was really disappointed to miss his kicks.

“He kicked so well in pre-season but moving into a pressure situation is something we have got to get used to.

“We knew we only had one shot at the end – we weren’t going to run it over the line and Tommy put himself in there to kick it.

“The temptation was to roll a couple more phases and see if anything else would happen.

“But Tom put himself in there and pulled the trigger.

“It would have been really disappointing had we not come away with the win after having pretty decent control of the match.

“But more importantly we have got a lot of images to show we can compete physically in the Premiership.

“We showed we could stand up to one of the real power sides, our scrum stood up and we have seen reassuring things we can build on and work around.”

Ryan added: “We were talking in the changing rooms after the match and said we can be better and smarter.

“We can take some confidence that physically we can be in this league. But we can’t go charging around after this win. This was not a final but it was a nice four points and a testament to the work the lads have done.”

Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder praised Warriors for their performance and felt the margin of victory could have been greater.

He said: “Worcester played really well, especially in the second-half when they put us under pressure.

“We didn’t look after the ball. I lost count of how many times we lost the ball in attack and if Worcester had kicked their goals in the second-half we would not have had the exciting finish.

“We looked pedestrian and one dimensional and that was very disappointing.

"We knew it was going to be tough, coming to Worcester on the first night.

“We didn’t underestimate them. Worcester have been together and worked hard and I don’t think we got our game going.”

Warriors chief Ryan was impressed with the displays for former Saints duo Phil Dowson and skipper Gerrit-Jan van Velze, who scored Worcester’s try.

“I thought Dows (Dowson) and GJ (Van Velze) were outstanding against their old club.

“There’s a long way to go. We are going to get times when we lose in the last minute and we will get times when we win but if I keep getting images showing we can compete physically at the set-piece then it is much more reassuring than grabbing a last-minute win on the back of nothing.”