Worcester Warriors 50 GRAN Parma 0
Mike Ruddock insists the future is bright at Sixways after seeing his Worcester side put GRAN Parma to the sword in the European Challenge Cup.
The Warriors' director of rugby looked on contentedly as All Black sensation Rico Gear finally made his bow for the club, skipper Pat Sanderson ran in a hat-trick of tries and several of his promising youngsters stepped up to the plate.
Worcester racked up eight tries in their one-sided 50-0 victory - a club record for the competition - against sub-standard opposition and the Worcester chief took plenty of positives from the performance.
He said: "We've got some fantastic young players at the club and they are coming through with the mind-set of the rugby we are trying to coach here. It gives us great heart that we can keep improving and the future looks really bright.
"Miles Benjamin scored a fantastic try at the end and he is a really promising player - we've got quite a few of those at the moment. Chris Pennell did well before going off injured at half-time and with the likes of Matt Mullan, Tom Wood and Jonny Arr, there are so many good youngsters at the club at the moment.
"Also, I think Rico did very well on his debut. He hasn't played for a couple of months and hasn't really had a pre-season, so it was good to get him on the field.
"We knew that GRAN Parma would be difficult opponents, especially in the rain. They tried to get stuck into us and slow the ball down, but overall we played a lot of very good rugby.
"To score 50 points against any team is an achievement and to not concede any points was a real plus. We are a step closer to qualifying but we will take nothing for granted. We go to Parma next week looking to build on this dis-play and keep moving forward."
Sanderson opened his account as early as the seventh minute when he was driven over from a line-out deep in Parma's 22 and he scored a carbon copy eight minutes later to put Warriors 10-0 to the good. The Sixways skipper completed an early treble on the 20-minute mark when he was on hand to dive over in the corner and fly half Shane Drahm split the posts to give Warriors a 17-0 advantage.
The next score was provided by lively full back Pennell, who burst through several tackles to touch down under the posts. Drahm made no mistake with the extras.
Shortly before the break, No 8 Kai Horstmann picked up from the base of a scrum to charge over and once again Drahm was on target. The second half began in similar fashion, with Horstmann brushing aside two tacklers to touch down in the corner. Drahm once more improved the try.
In the 51st minute, Tucker got in on the act by bursting through to score Worcester's seventh try and Drahm stretched the lead to 45 points with another successful conversion.
Wing Benjamin, on as a replacement for the injured Pennell, then scored the try of the match. Quick hands saw the ball quickly worked to the young flier just outside the home side's 22 and he powered past his marker before handing off two tacklers and sprinting in at the corner for a fantastic score.
WORCESTER: Pennell (Benjamin, 40); Delport, Gear, Tucker, Garvey; Drahm (Crichton, 60), Powell (Arr, 54); Mullan, Lutui (Fortey, 60; Lutui 76, blood)), Taumoepeau (Ruwers, 52), Rawlinson (Bowley, 52), Gillies, Talei (Hickey, 73), Sanderson, Horstmann.
PARMA: Sacca; Vezzosi (Castagnoli, 25), Cloete (Derbyshire, 40), Pedrazzi, Dubini; Onori, Tebaldi; Russo (Golfetti, 40), Fantoni (Artal 46), Munoz (Dow, 40), Myburgh, Pulli (Engelbrecht, 40), Barbieri, Buzaj (Arbelti, 73), Mannato.
Referee: Jerome Garces (France).
* Rico Gear hopes Worcester can use impressive European Challenge Cup form as a lever to pull them away from the Guinness Premiership basement.
All Blacks star Gear admitted he "enjoyed every second" of his Worcester debut as the Warriors cut loose.
Gear said: "It was fantastic to get out there and blow out the cobwebs after not playing for about six weeks.
"I really enjoyed every second with the crowd and the manner in which we played.
"I thought I played reasonably well for a first game. I still have to get used to some of the moves and combinations, but it will come.
"Now, we just need to keep building and use this as a starting point for the Premiership."