Mike Ruddock hailed the 'magnificent' effort of his Worcester Warriors as they produced a stunning defensive show to shut out table toppers Gloucester and claim a famous derby day win at Sixways Stadium.
Wing Marcel Garvey raced over for a first half try and on loan kicking king Willie Walker booted Warriors into a narrow 14-10 lead at the interval of a pulsating local clash.
But it was a sensational second half defensive show that most pleased Ruddock as his side held firm in the face of stern Gloucester pressure to take the points before the final whistle sparked wild scenes from the sell out home crowd.
"It was an outstanding defensive effort," said Ruddock. "I thought the players were quite magnificent with their commitment in defence.
"We were poor in defence last week and lacked energy after a training week that had gone well. We didn't transfer it into the game last week as we lacked zip and commitment; that opens up your defensive line.
"Because of that we took a bold gamble this week and gave the boys a bit of time out. They trained on Friday and Saturday and we kept the sessions very short to try and freshen them up.
"We gambled that if we freshen them up and created enthusiasm we would see the results in our defensive system.
"We didn't leave it on the training field this week - we transferred it onto the park. Sometimes you have to make those calls as a coach and this time it has worked for us.
"In fairness to Gloucester, they are a very dangerous team and on a few occasions they did cut us. But we always managed to get people back and save the day. Ryan Powell, for example, stopped one in the corner early second half with a fantastic cover tackle that stopped a certain try."
Ruddock was also full of praise for the way his side stuck to the game plan and showed real power in the forwards in the second half to keep the visitors at bay.
"I'm not sure what happened with the penalty try, I felt that was harsh if I am honest and I need to talk to the referee and see the footage," he added.
"But other than that I thought our defence was rock solid and we were very committed to a simple game plan which was effective. To attack Gloucester in and around the rucks with a lot of drives with pick and goes to hammer people through gaps close in.
"It wasn't always pretty but it worked for us and got us yards when at times space was not particularly plentiful.
"We have lost games by playing too much rugby at times. We lacked confidence after the Irish game and there is no point asking as team low of confidence to try and out gun a top of the table team with a wide game.
"We are capable to doing that, but today we weren't so we limited our errors and put our emphasis on a big defence with a lot of spirit and defence, those were the factors that won the day."
Warriors will take a one-point advantage back to Sixways after a Niall Annett try on the stroke of full-time handed Dean Ryan's men victory in the first leg of the Greene King IPA Championship play-off final.