Ruddock praises his luckless Warriors
Mike Ruddock hailed his Worcester side after they came agonisingly close to ending their winless run in the Guinness Premiership against Newcastle.
The Warriors, who have not won in six games, scored two excellent tries and director of rugby Ruddock believes they should have had at least two more before a late Jonny Wilkinson drop goal secured a 15-12 win for the Falcons.
Worcester twice appeared to be over the line, only for referee Rob Debney to rule they had been held up. He also pulled back Thinus Delport for a forwards pass when the full back looked to be in the clear and going for what could have been the winning score.
"I've spoken to my players and they all reckon they scored - there were some big calls by the referee today," said Ruddock.
"I haven't spoken to him yet but I will. That's something I would do normally anyway and there is a very good system in England for us to debate theses things with the referees and that's what we will be doing."
Wilkinson kicked four penalties but it was his 73rd-minute drop goal that denied Worcester and Ruddock added: "I'm very disappointed, but I'm very proud of my players.
"We came here to put Newcastle under pressure and try to make them play from deep and we did that.
"We also scored a couple of very good tries and had a couple disallowed. Our defence was excellent and they never looked like scoring tries. Obviously, we will have to look at the number of penalties we gave away.
"Newcastle made the most of their oppor- tunities but we looked very much a threatening outfit, but it wasn't quite enough today. We will press on. There is a long way to go and if we play like that, we won't be bottom of the table for long."
Newcastle director of rugby John Fletcher admits he feels sorry for Ruddock but was relived to escape with a win.
"I'm obviously happy with the win and we have played a lot better than that and bits of our performance will need looking at we just never got going and were a bit sloppy," he said. "Jonny Wilkinson's drop goal near the end was fantastic, but that's what you get with Jonny and our commitment and never-say-die attitude saw us through.
"I feel for Mike and there is no doubt Worcester will win some games before the end of the season, I'm just glad this wasn't one of them."