GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP: Harlequins 36 Worcester 15
Although he may not admit it, Mike Ruddock must thank his lucky stars that Leeds are in the Guinness Premiership.
Because if it wasn't for Carnegie then his Worcester Warriors side would surely be doomed on the evidence of this miserable defeat at the Twickenham Stoop.
Leeds' 29-3 defeat at Sale on Friday night left them firmly rooted to the bottom of the table and unless the Yorkshire side produce an incredible late comeback, similar to the stunning recovery that John Brain's Worcester produced last season, they are a National One side in waiting.
Warriors' solo Premiership victory over Bristol produced a glimmer of hope and the heavy defeat to Saracens could have gone down as a blip. But Saturday's ill-disciplined loss to a poor Harlequins side confirmed that director of rugby Ruddock and his southern hemisphere stars have still got a lot of work to do.
Things have got so bad that the Warriors chief now plans to introduce a top referee into his pre-London Irish preparations to help refresh his players on the laws of the game.
But, in public at least, Ruddock still refuses to admit to be rooting for every Leeds defeat.
"It is very tight but all I can try and control is what we are about," he said. "We wish we weren't in a situation where we are looking over our shoulder but we are looking over our shoulder.
"We need to try and do everything we can to move away from that area, if that means talking to a top referee to help us then that is what we've got to do.
"All I can try and control is what we are about as a team and that's my job."
The outcome of this match could have been much worse for the visitors had Quins' England Saxons fly half Adrian Jarvis found his shooting boots prior to the final ten minutes.
Jarvis scuffed five penalties and a conversion as Worcester remained within a converted try of Quins up until the 71st minute.
Then, with the score 15-8, Dean Ryan's men ran in three tries through replacement winger Steve So'oialo, centre Tosh Masson and winger Tom Williams.
Worcester, who had Drew Hickey and then Sam Tuitupou in the sin-bin for the final 15 minutes, managed to scrape into double figure with a converted solo effort from fly half James Brown in overtime.
With Jarvis missing kick after kick, at times during the second half it looked as though Worcester could have snatched something from the Stoop.
Quins, who had won just one of their previous 13 matches in all competitions, stormed into a 12-point lead inside the first 17 minutes after Will Skinner and Hal Luscombe had crossed.
But then a Brown penalty and a Rico Gear try later and things started to look rosier for the away side. Worcester were somewhat fortunate to post the try as it initially looked as though Ugo Monye had forced Gear into touch but referee Dave Pearson thought otherwise.
Warriors chipped away at Quins but it proved fruitless and when Jarvis attracted an ironic cheer with a simple 65th-minute penalty, it was turning out to be the same old story for Ruddock's side.
"Obviously we are hugely disappointed but there are areas of our game that we have to look at very closely in our defence, around the ruck in particular," added Warriors' DoR.
"And obviously our discipline generally which has been an Achilles heel of ours all season. It's probably contributed hugely to where we are in the league.
"There's a lot of effort at times, there's also a lack of precision at times but the biggest thing of all is our ability to put pressure on ourselves by giving away penalties unnecessarily."
HARLEQUINS: Brown, Williams, Luscombe, Masson, Monye (So'oialo, 66), Jarvis, Care, Jones, Fuga (Brooker, 75), Ross, Percival, Spanghero (Robson, 71), Robshaw, Skinner (Volley, 75), Easter (Hala'ufia, 80+3). Replacements: Brooks, Barry.
WORCESTER: Delport (Garvey, 74), Gear, Rasmussen, Tuitupou, Benjamin, Brown, R Powell (M Powell, 72), Windo (Mullan, 67), Lutui, Taumoepeai (Ruwers, 79), Rawlinson, Gillies, Hickey, Sanderson (Talei, 28) (Bowley, 72), Horstmann. Referee: Dave Pearson (RFU).