Worcester Warriors earn bonus point Newcastle victory

Alex Grove scored a brace of tries for Worcester Warriors

Worcester Warriors earned a crucial 28-20 bonus point Aviva Premiership victory over bottom of the table rivals Newcastle Falcons at Sixways on Saturday.

Worcester outscored the Falcons by four tries to two in the contest and also beat the North East side by more than seven points so Newcastle return home without even a losing bonus point.

Worcester suffered a blow before the kick off as they were forced into a late change with Matt Cox replacing GJ van Velze in the starting line-up

Phil Dowson took over the captaincy of the the side and moved to number eight, with Cox at blindside flanker.

Sam Betty came in on the replacements bench, along with Darren O’Shea who slotted in for Tevita Cavubati on the bench.

The Warriors were clinical in the opening period, scoring converted tries through Chris Pennell, Alex Grove (twice) and new signing Bryce Heem.

Newcastle were also enterprising with the ball, but they went into the interval 28-17 down despite Micky Young and Tom Catterick touchdowns and seven points from the boot of Mike Delany.

Catterick kicked a penalty early in the second half but that proved to be the only score of the final 40 minutes as the Midlands’ outfit went away with the victory.

Dean Richards’ men have endured a shambolic start to the season, losing all four games and conceding points with regularity.

Those defensive frailties were evident early on against Worcester with the hosts scoring from their first attack of the match.

The touchdown was instigated by debutant Heem who shook off the initial tackle and took play to within five metres of the line. Scrum-half Jonny Arr did well to recycle the ball and it was shifted wide to Pennell who scampered across the whitewash unopposed.

To their credit, the Falcons grew into the contest and deservedly levelled when a spell of pressure resulted in Ally Hogg breaking the defensive alignment and off-loading to Young.

However, the Warriors were always dangerous with ball in hand and, after Alex Tait had misjudged a crossfield kick, Heem pounced to race away.

Tom Heathcote converted for the second time before he was on target again when another excellent move ended in Grove touching down.

That made it 21-7 for Worcester and, although Delany’s penalty reduced the deficit, Newcastle couldn’t stem the tide and the home side’s outside centre went over for another try.

The visitors’ rearguard was atrocious but they at least managed to keep the game alive at the break when they fashioned an excellent attack. Juan Pablo Socino made over 30 metres before play was moved onto Delany. The fly-half then passed to Catterick who stepped off his left foot and crossed the line.

Although the second half wasn’t as exciting, it was arguably more competitive with the Falcons coming back into the game through a three-pointer by Catterick.

Defences were shored up as, despite the odd break, the Warriors held onto their eight-point buffer and secured a crucial win.

Final Score Worcester Warriors 28 (28) Newcastle 20 (17)

Scorers

Worcester Warriors
Tries – Pennell, Heem, Grove (2)
Pen –
Con – Heathcote (4)
Drop –

Newcastle
Tries – Young, Catterick
Pen – Delany, Catterick
Con – Delany (2)
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee : JP Doyle (98th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Peter Huckle & Paul Dix.
TMO: Stuart Terheege.

Teams

Worcester Warriors

15 Chris Pennell , 14 Bryce Heem , 13 Alex Grove , 12 Ryan Mills , 11 Cooper Vuna , 10 Tom Heathcote , 9 Jonny Arr , 1 Val Rapava Ruskin , 2 Niall Annett , 3 Nick Schonert , 4 Donncha O’Callaghan , 5 Darren Barry , 6 Matt Cox , 7 Marco Mama , 8 Phil Dowson (C)

Replacements : 16 Jaba Bregvadze , 17 Na’ama Leleimalefaga , 18 Joe Rees , 19 Darren O’Shea , 20 Sam Betty , 21 Charlie Mulchrone , 22 Ryan Lamb , 23 Ben Howard

Newcastle Falcons

15. A Tait, 14. G Venditti, 13. C Harris, 12. JP. Socino, 11. A. Tuilagi, 10. M Delany, 9. M Young, 1. R Vickers, 2. S Lawson, 3. J Welsh, 4. M Botha, 5. K Thompson, 6. W Welch, 7. N Latu, 8. A Hogg

Replacements : 16. G McGuigan, 17. E Fry, 18. T Vea, 19. S Robinson, 20. T Clever, 21. R Tipuna, 22. T Catterick, 23. T Penny

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