Fisher wary of Warriors threat

Date published: January 6 2017

Gloucester should prepare for an all out onslaught from Worcester when the teams clash at Kingsholm on Saturday, says coach Laurie Fisher.

The Warriors are coming off a 24-17 win over Harlequins and are just two places below Gloucester on the Premiership standings.

“They have got quality in what they do – they have scored some wonderful tries over the last couple of seasons,” Fisher told Gloucestershire Live.

“They could challenge you at the gain line with powerful ball carriers like Alafoti Faosiliva or Ben Te’o, who have really good go-forward, or they can go out of the back and stretch you around the edges.

“They have scored a lot of good tries, they can play some really, really quality rugby and they will take huge confidence out of their performance last weekend. They have got a quality scrum, so you can’t just mentally prepare for that sort of challenge – you have got to do the work, and that will give you confidence that you are able to meet that challenge,” Fisher continued.

“I think you have got to roll your sleeves up, because Worcester are a physical side – they are powerful and have a couple of good ball carriers through the midfield and have a huge forward pack. We all know when confidence sets in, performances move forward so I think they are a challenging team.”

Fisher says the local rivalry will be a key spice in the mix. “It is a derby game – a massive derby game – and it is only just down the road from us.

“Again the emotions will be up, and it is high stakes – because they are battling for survival. We are battling for a whole range of things, so I expect it to be an exceptionally hard road home on Saturday.

“They are a good team, which you could say when you play anyone away in this competition, and they are a combative team. They play very well at Sixways and have adapted their game and the things they do to the surfaces they play on, and again, they are in a lot of games for a lot of time,” he added.

“They have probably had a couple of disappointing performances, but they are really tough opposition. You have got to play the game you would normally play – Ryan Mills is a good defender and is obviously a 12 playing ten, and was solid last week. They defend well and have a lot of tenacity in midfield – they are a solid defensive team through there.

“They have wingers who work hard, so we will just try and play our own natural game – we have some variety and we have been working on that transition channel. We can try and play a couple of channels wider – but a lot will depend on the conditions of the pitch and the weather on the day. But you need to try and get gain-line success, quick release of the ball and play on top of them – whether you go sideways or come back, or whether you find space in behind them.

“That is up to the quality of your set-piece and the quality of your first-phase play to see what you have created.”