WORCESTER Warriors’ young prospect Andrew Kitchener refused to use already securing Premiership survival as an excuse for Saturday’s defeat at Northampton Saints.

The 38-10 loss at Franklin’s Gardens proved to be a case of ‘after the lord mayor’s show’ following the 27-20 home win over Gloucester the previous Sunday which sealed Warriors’ fifth consecutive season in the top flight.

Alan Solomons’ side were disrupted at Northampton though by four players suffering head injuries including Perry Humphreys, Francois Venter and Nick Schonert in just the first half-hour.

But it was Worcester’s ninth away league defeat of the season with just two wins over Bristol Bears and Leicester Tigers to speak of and a lack of bonus points — a record that will need improving upon to avoid another relegation fight in 2019-20.

When asked whether Warriors need to be more competitive away from home, lock Kitchener, who impressed at Northampton after coming on in the second half, admitted: “That’s probably fair to say.

“It’s about having that determination to get anything out of a game, even if you are not playing your best rugby and you are down a couple of scores, because in a league as competitive as this any point is crucial.

“A losing bonus point may come in really handy at the end of the season. We have got to try to get something out of every game.

“It is fair to say we have played some of our better stuff at home this season. It’s hard to put your finger on why that’s the case.

“I think on Saturday Northampton on paper had a lot more to play for, pushing for the top four and that final place.

“But that’s no excuse for us to be a bit sluggish at the start of the first half and that ultimately cost us.

“It’s probably a bit harder to get up for it (after the Gloucester win) but we were aware of that situation during the week and were definitely in a good place mentally coming into the game.

“It’s not a case where we completely switched off. We were just a little bit off it on Saturday and Northampton are a good team.

“They are up there in the top four or five for a reason and played well.”

On the first-half injury disruption, Kitchener, 22, continued: “That first half was a bit chaotic. There were a couple of early tries and both of the backs going off early doors wasn’t ideal.

“But that stuff happens. I was watching the Leicester game on Friday night and it was similar there as well.

“That is what your bench is for and you have just got to be prepared to come on at any time and adapt to the situation.

“As a sub you have got to anticipate every outcome and situation so you have got to be ready to come on.

“We are always rotating during the week so in terms of roles and knowing the game-plan we should be able to get up to speed.

“Although adjustments have to be made and it’s not ideal to come on straight away I feel like we are able to swap fairly comfortably.”

Departing England centre Ben Te’o gave Warriors some hope at Saints with a try just before the interval.

Kitchener added: “They put those early tries on the board but we dug in really well and that was a really good score.

“It gave us a bit of encouragement going in at the break. We were three scores down but we thought if we could get the next one we could get ourselves back into the game. But it wasn’t to be.”

Warriors complete their Premiership season at home to Saracens on Saturday, May 18 (4pm).