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Bristol 15:00 Worcester

Dorian West impressed with Northampton's win over Worcester

Last Updated: 18/02/13 5:24am

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Dorian West: Saints played the conditions

Dorian West: Saints played the conditions

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Northampton forwards coach Dorian West saluted his players for "grinding it out" after Saints put their Aviva Premiership play-off hopes back on track at Worcester.

A 70th-minute Samu Manoa touchdown and a penalty try in the dying seconds saw Northampton move up to fifth with a 27-18 victory.

It was only their second league win from their last five starts and was achieved despite Saints' England forwards Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes both being sin-binned.

"You need to be able to play the game depending on the conditions, and I was really pleased with how we did that today," former England hooker West said.

"We know we've not been at our best, but you don't win trophies before Christmas."
Dorian West

"It was not the conditions to be throwing the ball around, it was a day for grinding it out, working hard for each other and sticking tight in the forwards.

"I thought we played the conditions very well. We showed that in the second half when we controlled field position, got the ball in the right areas and our forwards worked really hard.

"It's quite strange in that you are five points off the top four (as Northampton were before today) and you are getting written off by everybody, saying how poor you are.

"We know we've not been at our best, but you don't win trophies before Christmas."

Superb

Worcester head coach Richard Hill, though, was delighted with his players' approach to the game on a Sixways pitch parts of which resembled a glue-pot.

"We played some superb rugby," Hill said. "A year ago you wouldn't have seen Worcester play with that intent of producing 15-man rugby.

"We did not finish things off but we have just got to persevere with that type of rugby. It is the rugby the players want to play.

"Today we got beaten by a power game. We knew what was coming with the scrum and the lineout maul and we couldn't deal with it.

"We are not getting the rewards for the rugby we are playing at the moment, but we will get them at some stage. There is huge self-belief in the squad.

"It would be a lie if I said I was not worried about the set-piece. It is a concern, but we are very confident that through the coaching and the players we will work out a strategy to get better. It was a bad scrummaging day today."

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