STAND-IN skipper Jono Lance believes the “best thing” about scrum-half Michael Heaney is that he “does not go out there and try to play like” Sixways star Francois Hougaard.

Lance says Heaney is “never frazzled” and his calming influence helped Worcester Warriors beat Harlequins 19-14 in wretched weather at The Stoop on Saturday.

Warriors were dealt a big blow when talisman Hougaard sustained a shoulder injury in the defeat at Northampton Saints last month.

But Heaney has stepped into the breach and Lance is delighted to see the number nine play to his own strengths rather than try to replicate Hougaard.

“It felt really good (playing alongside Heaney),” said Lance who replaced Duncan Weir at fly-half and captained the side in the absence of Ryan Mills.

“The best thing about Heans is that he does not go out there and try to play like Francois.

“He’s going to go out there and do what he does well.

“That’s to kick well, control the forwards and just be calm.

“He’s never frazzled and you saw that on Saturday.

“We had a chat during the week about ball carrying to make line-breaks and to be a nuisance.

“You don’t want to be nice when you are carrying the ball and I thought Heaney got the forwards doing that really well.”

Worcester fell 14-3 behind courtesy of converted tries from Alex Dombrandt and James Chisholm inside the opening 14 minutes.

But Warriors battled back thanks to accurate goal-kicking from Lance and a 67th minute Jamie Shillcock try.

“We had to be tough (in the second half) and just play in the right areas of the field,” Lance said.

“To have Heans who is so calm at the back, putting box kicks on the money and a left foot on the field with Shilly made it really easy for us to do that.

“We played smart.”

On playing in the heavy rain, Lance said: “It was pretty tough.

“Both teams had to play in it and I thought they put a lot of challenging kicks on us.

“The big thing for us was moving on from our errors.

“There are going to be mistake in a game like this. Balls went down but it was how good our five minutes were after an error happened and then the ability to force them to make errors.”

Long periods of kick tennis were played out in the testing conditions and Lance insisted it was key that his side kept Quins guessing.

“Kicking is important but it’s getting the balance right,” Lance said.

“You don’t want to slow down the ball all the time by kicking.

“Sometimes you want to kick on the front foot and other times you want to do things on your own terms which takes a little bit of pressure off the kicks.

“We wanted to give Harlequins different types of things to deal with.

“As much as we kicked well and managed the game we also challenged ourselves when there was an overlap to test our skills.

“I think we have a skilful forward pack and you saw that on Saturday.

“There were a few errors but we didn’t mind that when a few of the moves into space managed to put us away in good, go-forward positions with the ball in our hands.”