MOMENTS after the final ball was kicked at a rain-soaked Kingston Park, Worcester Warriors’ sodden players came together for their post-match huddle.

Not knowing what to say many of them just hung their heads in shame after losing 17-6 to bottom club Newcastle Falcons in a dismal basement battle last Sunday.

But prop Nick Schonert said Sixways stalwart Chris Pennell — a man well-versed in relegation tussles — addressed his crestfallen team-mates to remind them that all was not lost.

“We knew straight after the game what we needed to do and how we were going to do it,” Schonert said.

“A few of the more senior guys like Penns spoke in the huddle and said that sometimes you are not going to get the hand you want but you have got to adapt to it.

“It was a lot harder to take for a few of the boys but that’s rugby.

“We have all had our ups and downs in seasons and in games — and that’s why guys like Penns are so important to have in the squad as he has been there, done that and walked that road.

“He can lend advice to a few of the younger boys coming through on how to handle defeats like that and how to move onto the next game.

“Having him around is incredible.”

Warriors have seen their cushion over Falcons cut to merely five points with seven games to go in the Gallagher Premiership.

But as Schonert said Pennell knows what to say and how to respond in moments of trouble.

Since making his first-team debut in 2007 the full-back has encountered turmoil off the pitch with coaches and players coming and going and scraps for survival on it.

But continually Pennell, a diabetes sufferer, has risen to the occasion.

Even when he experienced the second of the club’s demotions from the top-flight in 2014 Pennell almost single-handedly kept them up with his stellar performances resulting in him being called up by England for the summer tour of New Zealand.

Offers from Premiership clubs arrived but Pennell stuck by his boyhood club and scored a decisive late try in the thrilling two-legged Championship play-off final triumph over Bristol.

Schonert has played with the 31-year-old since that promotion-winning 2014-15 campaign and has got the utmost respect for him.

“He has got a very good head on his shoulders, is a very humble man and a hard-working professional,” Schonert said.

“Every club wants to have a player like that.

“He is a guy that has backed this club for a long time and has the same vision that a lot of the new boys have bought into.

“He is testament to being really faithful and loyal to the club.

“As players and fans we all owe a lot to him as he has stuck through the hard times.”

Pennell has notched 39 tries in 219 games over the past 12 seasons.

Only Craig Gillies (288) and Tony Windo (222) have pulled on the blue and gold jersey on more occasions.

But Pennell will break a club record on Saturday when he makes his 150th Premiership outing — beating Gillies’ tally of 149 — and is one point away from reaching the 400 mark for the club.

The fixture against leaders Exeter Chief also happens to be Pennell’s testimonial day as he looks to raise money for his three charities Grace Kelly Ladybird Trust, Diabetes UK and Acorns Children’s Hospice.

And Schonert said the club were determined to make it a “memorable” afternoon for Pennell.

“We want to do well for him, not only for this game but for the season,” Schonert said.

“It’s his testimonial year so you want to make it an enjoyable year. That’s why defeats have been harder to swallow.

“For Jonny Arr’s (testimonial) year we had a few good wins like the one over Gloucester so we just want to create the same atmosphere for Penns.”