It would have been easy for Mike Ruddock to have scrapped the joys of Christmas and been irate after his side’s performance at Sixways on Saturday.

After all, the Worcester Warriors director of rugby had watched his side throw away a 20-17 lead during the last play at home to basement battlers Bristol.

If Warriors had wrapped up the last gasp-error in paper and put a bow around it it would have made the perfect Christmas gift.

However, while the Welshman was riled by the 20-20 draw, Ruddock attempted to put a positive spin on what was a bitter pill to swallow.

At the time of year when it is easy to reflect on the last 12 months, that is exactly what Ruddock opted to do.

Turn the clock back a year when Ruddock’s first coaching post in England was far from rosy. Worcester had played eight Guinness Premiership matches and all they had to show for it was a draw, relegation a distinct possibility.

Fast forward 12 months and the Sixways garden is much brighter for the man from Blaina. Worcester are nine fixtures in, have three wins to add to that draw and sit ninth. For the time being relegation is a distant fear, one that could vanish if the Warriors manage a victory from their match at second-from-bottom Newcastle Falcons on Saturday.

“If you put the Bristol result into context, this time last year we still didn’t have a win,” a reflective Ruddock said. “So it’s another two points for us, we’ve got to look at the positives and we have a massive game at Newcastle this weekend.

“If we can do the business there, we can carry on pressing but, make no bones about it, we are very disappointed. It was always going to be a narrow margin on Saturday.”