Match reaction: Warriors 36 Irish 24 – Jonathan Thomas


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Head coach Jonathan Thomas insists his side “won’t get carried away” after the Worcester Warriors started their Gallagher Premiership campaign with a bonus points victory over the London Irish at Sixways on Saturday.

Worcester responded to an Irish first try to score three of their own before the break, including a first score for scrum-half Willi Heinz, before two more in the second half got all five points.

Thomas said there was still a long way to go on his side, but admitted winning the game was more important than opening day performance.

“First and foremost, starting with a win is important and the bonus point is the icing on the cake,” he said.

“It’s a start but we are not going to get carried away at all, there is still a lot of growth to come from this team.

“It was messy at times, but both teams intended to play and that leads to mistakes and that’s what we showed.

“Some of our leaders got us through this today and I thought Willi (Heinz) was exceptional.

“It’s a win, I was happy, but there is a lot more to come.”

Irish scored the first try after just four minutes, but the Warriors came back to score three tries before the break to regain control.

Thomas was not too happy at half-time, despite the score, and explained what was being said in the locker room.

“My message to the players at half-time was that when we shoot we put them under pressure,” he added.

“The first 25 minutes we played too much and that led to some mistakes so our message was to never tire of doing the basics well, that’s what we did and what won the game. .

“There were a few mistakes late but we’ll look into them before the quins next week.”

Worcester are eight straight in the opening block of league games and make the trip to face defending champions Harlequins next weekend.

The win came at a marginal cost, it seems, as Melani Nanai limped early in the second half, but Thomas says it was more of a precautionary approach.

“Melani felt a little tight,” he said.

“But we could have left him, but at such an early stage in the season you better be careful, the same with Willi (Heinz). We have to make sure we protect those kinds of players and other than that we have has had no real injuries as of today. ”

All in all, it has been a successful working day for the Warriors, but the last word has gone to the fans and Thomas is hopeful that more wins will encourage more to pack Sixways.

“The fans are the soul of this sport and our job and our responsibility is to play well every week so that we fill this stadium, but those who were here were superb today.”

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