Rugby Union: Warriors' position means nothing in play-offs - Ryan

Dean Ryan
Warriors' defeat by Bristol was their first at Sixways for 13 months

Worcester Warriors' league double over London Scottish will count for nothing when the two sides meet again in the Championship semi-final play-offs, says Warriors' director of rugby Dean Ryan.

Warriors, beaten 30-26 by table-topping Bristol in Saturday's final league game, now face Scottish over two-legs.

"The play-offs are different, it's two separate competitions," Ryan said.

"We won't go and stroll around. We'll start from zero-zero. We'll have to play very well."

Warriors were looking in control of their top-of-the-table clash with Bristol at Sixways when they led 23-10 in front of 10,795 spectators - a record crowd for a domestic Championship match.

Warriors v London Scottish: The dates
First leg: Saturday, 2 May, London Scottish v Worcester Warriors (Athletic Ground) 13:45 BST
Second leg: Friday, 8 May, Worcester Warriors v London Scottish (Sixways) 19:45 BST

But yellow cards to back-rower Jonathan Thomas and Australian winger Cooper Vuna and an injury to England full-back Chris Pennell disrupted their plans as Bristol came back to seal a narrow win.

"We're pretty angry with ourselves," Ryan told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"As a team, we looked really smart. It was great to be in a contest - a proper chess-match contest - and credit to Bristol for that.

"We started to edge it but we lost the pillars of 15 men and Pennell and the whole back field coverage is gone and we end up fire fighting."

Ryan does not yet know the full extent of Pennell's injury nor that suffered by centre Max Stelling, who left the ground on crutches.

Scottish finished third in the table despite losing their last game at fourth-placed Rotherham Titans, who will take on Bristol in the other semi-final.

Warriors double delight over Scottish
As well as finishing the regular season 33 points ahead of their semi-final opponents, Warriors beat Scottish twice in the league - 34-17 at the Athletic Ground in December and 56-16 at Sixways in March.

Although Warriors finished the regular season 33 points ahead of Scottish, Ryan was adamant that Warriors would be fully focused in the first leg of the semi-final on Saturday.

"They're probably the form side out of these two in the play-offs," he added. "That's the next stage of the this contest. It's sat over everyone's shoulders for nine months - we want to play."

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