RFU Championship: Worcester Warriors 36 Esher 7

Richard Hill admits he will spend even longer on the Mendips trying to come up with new ways to improve a Worcester team that resolutely refuses to turn the notional form corner.

The Sixways coach was left scratching his head after another victory, secured once again with a sub-par performance and despite his Warriors' best endeavours rather than because of them.

He has already promised his squad a 'roasting' when it reconvenes on Monday and - as has been his habit, that process will be conceived during his Sunday morning constitutional.

"I'll go for my usual walk, wrap up warm and might take an extra hour this weekend," he said, aware of the fact he is presiding over a side that week in, week out fails to equal to the sum of its parts.

But a few shuttle runs up Beacon Batch aren't the answer - and he knows it. Physically Hill's men are in fine fettle, even the club's record appearance holder Craig Gillies is in better shape than ever before having recently exceeded his best ever fitness results.

The problem lingers between their ears in rugby's all important top two inches. Almost to a man Worcester's players are faster and stronger and most of them bigger than their Championship counterparts.

Yet why none of them who took the field against Esher on Saturday could spot what was blatantly obvious to everyone else inside the ground is a mystery.

"People in the crowd behind me were shouting 'You're too loose'. And they were right," Hill recounted after his team had spent large chunks of the match slinging possession down the backline with the sole effect of crabbing from one sideline to the other.

What was even more bemusing was the fact the hosts had identified the route to success in the first ten minutes, when their forwards ran hard and straight and simply over-powered their part-time opponents.

That brought them tries for Joey Carlisle and Matt Kvesic and a 12-point lead in even time. This was surely going to be an afternoon when the baby had his candy taken from him.

But for some reason a side crammed full of internationals of many colours moved away from that simple, literally straightforward tactic and felt what the game needed was width and plenty of it.

Suddenly Oriol Ripol, Miles Benjamin and Alex Crockett became the focus points of their attack and all Esher had to do was drift across the pitch and snuff out what little danger there was.

"I would say it's like watching Barbarians rugby but the Barbarians would be better than that," Hill lamented.

"I don't know what we were trying to do there, we wanted to get the four tries as soon as possible and get the bonus point but you have to be very clinical, very simple and direct against Esher and it would have come - very easily.

"We tried to make life difficult for ourselves. That's not what we do in training and certainly not what we said we were going to do coming into the game."

So the evidence suggests Hill has a squad of good, strong and big players but very few clever ones. If it's honest effort and exhortations to ever greater efforts you're after, you're in luck.

But if it's rugby smarts you seek, for the time being at least, you'd better search somewhere else because as long as Worcester play as gormlessly as they did here, there is a lingering chance they will not be promoted.

And given the advantages they enjoy, that would be an act of considerable negligence.

WORCESTER: Arscott; Ripol, Crockett (Rasmussen 64), Higgitt, Benjamin; Carlisle (Goode 58), Arr (Williams 58), Black, Fortey (Lutui 64), Douglas (Taumoepeau 64), Bowley (Kitchener 64), Gillies, Sanderson, Kvesic, Horstmann. Replacement: Best
ESHER: Goodridge; Smith, Griffiths (Ulph 68), Cruickshanks, Mullen; Slemen (Whitehead 68), Gibbs; Rowland, Corrigan (Walker), O'Reilly (Baker 41), Rudzki (Gaynor 58), Barker (Waterhouse 58), York, Wallace, Renwick. Replacement:Garner
Referee: Steve Lee