Ruddock happy with “Fantastic” Talei

Worcester chief Mike Ruddock hailed the contribution of debutant Netani Talei after Saturday’s 23-22 win at Harlequins in the EDF Energy Cup.

Talei, Fiji’s World Cup number eight, marked his first start with Worcester’s opening try.

Ruddock said: “He looks a really good signing.

“I thought he was man of the match for us. He gave us a great go forward and scored a fantastic try. It must have given the boys a lift.”

Former Wales coach Ruddock, with only one draw from his first seven matches in charge, was relieved to have ended the longest winless run of his 21-year coaching career.

“I’ve been in this situation before – but not one as long as this,” he said.

“Hopefully, on the back of this win, we can keep building.”

The director of rugby revealed he had demanded a drastic turnaround following last weekend’s humiliating 47-16 defeat by Ospreys.

“We let ourselves down really badly last week,” said Ruddock.

“We were unprofessional and lacked commitment but this week we have worked at ironing out our attitude and it was much better.

“We had to look really deep at ourselves, the coaching staff as well, but sometimes in life it’s how you come back. Hopefully that’s now the standard we can expect from the players.”

His Harlequins opposite number Dean Richards accused his players of not approaching the EDF Cup match – and the opposition – in the right manner.

Quins visit French giants Stade Francais in the Heineken Cup, Europe’s premier club competition, next Saturday and Richards said: “I don’t think some of them have understood that every game is an important as the next.

“The best players in the world treat every game the same and that is what we have got to be striving form, the consistency.

“I also felt they underestimated Worcester who have played some fantastic rugby this season and not got the rewards they deserved.

“Ours is a very young side which needs to concentrate week-in and week-out. I don’t think, at this moment in time, we have got that hard edge about us and it cost us today but it will come.”

Richards revealed that he berated his players for their approach at half-time, adding: “The first 30 minutes of the game we were haphazard in everything we did and there were harsh words. Some of the needless penalties we gave away were very frustrating.”


365 Digital

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