Planet Rugby

Pennell left "gutted" by late loss

08th February 2014 10:27

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chris pennell worcester

In-form: Chris Pennell

Stand-out Worcester Warriors full-back Chris Pennell was gutted in the wake of his side's 23-22 loss to Leicester Tigers on Friday.

Pennell has been described as a "diamond in the rough" at Sixways, with struggling Worcester rooted to the bottom of the Premiership table.

His kicking on Friday caught the eye; he landed five penalties and a conversion to claim the man of the match award, but one attempt from the tee bounced agonisingly off the post.

Two Niki Goneva tries and a late penalty from skipper Toby Flood eventually saw the Tigers shade their hosts.

"I'm gutted not to have come out with the win," admitted Pennell.

"It was a great performance from us. We were a couple of soft penalties and me hitting the post away from beating last season's champions.

"If that was Gloucester or London Irish, we would have been clear winners but Leicester are a quality team and they know how to win these tight matches.

"I'm immensely proud of the boys, each and every one of them.

"The effort showed from every player today on the pitch and even the guys who didn't get on, was immense. I think we showed what this means to us.

Pennell has taken very well to his new role as first-choice kicker, after the quality of goal-kicking from the Sixways side fell well below par throughout much of the season.

On Friday, many of his seventeen points were bagged from long-range, or out wide on the touchlines.

"It's not something I've had to focus on before but I've been working on it a lot more over the last couple of months," added Pennell.

"That has helped me get more consistent and I am enjoying the challenge."

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