Worcester director of rugby Mike Ruddock paid tribute to his side’s resilience after they battled back to force a 16-16 draw at Newcastle Falcons.

The Warriors had found themselves 13-3 behind early on but the visitors stayed in touch thanks to the boot of Eoghan Hickey before a converted Pat Sanderson try 11 minutes from time secured a share of the spoils.

The result moves them up to eighth in the Guinness Premiership and Ruddock said: “I was very pleased with the character we showed at the end when Newcastle were coming at us. Hopefully, we can keep playing like that and move up the league.”

Ruddock’s opposite number, Steve Bates, was left to reflect on an opportunity lost. The Falcons are second from bottom and although Bates said the performance was one of their best this season, he admitted: “We were a little disappointed not to have won. We didn’t finish off as well as we can.”

The match turned on a mistake by young fly half Rory Clegg when he tried to throw the ball in to himself close to his own line, slipped and lost control of the ball. Worcester snaffled it, swept it wide and scored through Sanderson with Hickey’s conversion levelling the score at 16-16.

Bates said: “If he’d caught it and banged it 40 metres into touch, we’d all be saying he was brilliant.”