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Rugby Union: Warriors' recovery position.

IF Lazarus had played rugby he would have turned out for Worcester.

Orders for wreaths and days off booked for the funeral have been put on hold after the Warriors, close to breathing their last in the Premiership, started a remarkable recovery.

Wins against Bath at Sixways, the first against their West Country rivals, followed by an impressive victory over Sale Sharks at Edgeley Park have put Worcester a point behind Northampton Saints.

Tonight Worcester take on Newcastle at Sixways and the Falcons will be without Jonny Wilkinson and Toby Flood, among others.

The Falcons are fourth bottom and only nine points above Worcester so, with the Warriors on a roll with sky-high confidence, Newcastle could find themselves uncomfortably close to the drop come closing time tonight.

Victory would lift Warriors off the bottom, at least for a day, with second-bottom Northampton, who have a point more and a game in hand, facing Sale Sharks at home tomorrow.

Director of rugby John Brain will be hoping for a defensive performance to match the display at Sale last Friday.

He said: "They had lots of momentum and pressure in the final 20 minutes but, technically, our defence was something to be proud of. That was ultimately what won us the game.

"Phil Larder has come in and kept things simple, he has not really changed our defensive organisation very much, but what he has done is work on the small details.

"The players' defensive technique has improved and that is the reason why we didn't take any tries against Sale and are now one of the best defensive teams in this league."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Mar 16, 2007
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