"After the game I asked James Collins if he scored when he got near the line in the second half and he said he scored but it hadn't been picked up by the referee. We could have easily been looking at a victory if that had been seen" - Mike Ruddock
Director of Rugby Mike Ruddock felt indiscipline had cost his Warriors victory over Montpellier in Europe - but insisted Worcester could still have taken the points after the officials missed a second half try from James Collins.
Worcester lost Matt Cox, Tom Wood and Collins to the sin bin during the fixture in the south of France as the club's Amlin Challenge Cup bid ended with an 8-3 defeat at Stade Yves-du-Manoir.
Ruddock acknowledged the spell playing with only 13 men had ultimately proved costly for his team as defences ruled for most of the game.
But after the game he also revealed back row Collins and his team-mates felt aggrieved that a score early in the second period had been ruled out.
"We showed bravery and some good team spirit - but ultimately we were down to 13 men when they scored and it was eight against six in the forwards," he said.
"I asked one of my backs to go into the scrum just to give a little bit of weight, but against fresh legs and a couple of new props that came on, Montpellier managed to get that push over try.
"I told Coxy (Matt Cox) afterwards that he probably should have made more effort to show the referee it was totally accidental when he got yellow carded for a high tackle.
"The disappointing thing for us was that there was a high tackle on Chris Pennell later in the game that we got a penalty from. We missed the kick at goal, but I felt if the referee is going to be consistent he should have yellow carded their guy in the same manner.
"After the game I asked James Collins if he scored when he got near the line in the second half and he said he scored but it hadn't been picked up by the referee - we could have easily been looking at a victory if that had been seen.
"But, as I just said to the boys, we ultimately missed kicks at goal and a drop goal attempt. That is nine points we should have had too."
Ruddock admitted the new format for the Amlin Challenge Cup this season - with Heineken Cup sides dropping into the quarter finals - had made an impact on the tournament. Both Montpellier and Warriors could not make the last eight even before kick-off under new rules.
But the Worcester boss insisted the game was still of benefit to give younger players valuable game time and try new combinations before the upcoming LV= Cup games and the resumption of the Guinness Premiership
"We have had the opportunity to see youngsters in action. Young Jordan Page and Jack Gilding got games, Joey Carlisle came on and Greg King started. Chris Pennell also played and Dave Lyons came on in the second half for us," added Ruddock.
"Let's be honest, it was a brave effort by all those youngsters to come out here and go toe-to-toe with Montpellier.
"It was a big effort by us and I won't say we should have won, I felt they dominated the forward exchanges in the second half, but we could have won if the try by Collins had been spotted and we kicked our goals."
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Sign up with the Warriors before this Thursday (June 13) and you will also be entered into a prize draw to win a pair of tickets for this summer's J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series at Kingsholm!
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England Under 20s - who included Worcester wing Ben Howard - fell agonisingly short against world champions South Africa in the IRB Junior World Championship, losing 31-24 in La Roche-sur-Yon on Sunday.