REPORT – Warriors miss out on place at Sevens Finals Day

Warriors narrowly missed out on a place at the Singha Premiership Finals Day after a brave effort at Newcastle Falcons’ Kingston Park. 

Warriors were pipped by Leicester Tigers in their first outing before seeing off Newcastle Falcons in their second fixture which saw them sit top of the group after two games played. 

But with back-to-back fixtures, it proved too much for the young Warriors who were bitten by the Sharks as both Sale and Newcastle booked their place at next weekend’s Series Finals Day at the Ricoh Arena.

Warriors 24-26 Leicester Tigers

Warriors slipped to a narrow defeat in their opening game of the tournament after an emphatic Leicester Tigers comeback.

Leicester’s Freddie Tuilagi was immediately sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Harry Cochrane before Jordan Olowofela was also yellow-carded giving Warriors a big opportunity to take the lead.

And they did just that when Jordan Ainslie breezed in under the posts giving Tiff Eden the easy conversion. 

Warriors extended their lead when Josh Adams finished off a sweeping move out wide and Eden again added the extras to open up a 14-point lead. 

But Tigers roared their way back into the contest as Olowofela and Tommy Reffell crossed the whitewash with Tom Hardwick converting both to level the scores. 

Tuilagi then barged his way over to give Leicester an unlikely 19-14 lead at the halfway stage.

Tigers carried their momentum into the second-half with Andy Brown jumping over the line and Ollie Russell converted. 

Warriors were unlucky not to score following a rampaging run from Huw Taylor which was finished off by Craig Jackson – but the paceman was denied the score due to a foot being in touch as he crossed the chalk. 

However, it mattered little, as Taylor soon stretched out to score and brought his side to within seven points.

Warriors were quickly at it again and a stunning length-of-the-field sprint from Adams saw the Welshman score his second, setting up a nervy conversion for Eden to level the scores. 

But the 21-year-old couldn’t quite split the posts and Leicester soon booted the ball out of play to edge the tie.

Despite the defeat, Warriors picked up two bonus points for losing by less than seven and also scoring four tries.
 

Warriors 24-21 Newcastle Falcons

Warriors picked up a bonus-point win over Newcastle Falcons in their second match of the day in a tense encounter against the hosts. 

It didn’t start well for Chim Gale’s team as Tom Catterick sprinted in straight after the kick-off and converted to give Falcons the early lead. 

But Warriors swiftly responded with Tiff Eden’s crossfield kick being collected by Josh Adams who raced in to score. 

Then young Ted Hill stormed his way over the whitewash with Eden landing a fine drop-goal conversion. 

Adams then bumped off his man to score another with Eden adding the extras as Warriors enjoyed a 19-7 lead at half-time. 

Welsh wing wizard Adams then completed his hat-trick as Warriors went 24-7 ahead early in the second period. 

But Falcons weren’t done yet, and Dan Marshall did well to collect a chip over the top to score with Joel Hodgson notching the conversion. 

Adam Radwan then produced a lung-bursting run to score before converting to set up another tense finale. 

But Warriors held on and found themselves top of the group after two games played. 

Warriors 0-31 Sale Sharks

Playing back-to-back games, Warriors gave their all but couldn’t prevent a strong Sale Sharks side from securing their second win of the tournament. 

Nick Scott got the scoring underway after bumping off challenges and James Mitchell converted as Sale got off to a fine start. 

The Sharks led 12-0 at the break courtesy of a Paolo Odogwu try leaving Warriors with plenty to do in the second period. 

And the tired legs showed as Odogwu crossed for his seventh try of the day before Mitchell added another under the posts. 

And Odogwu capped a fine day with eight tries in total as he ran in Sale’s last score, ending Warriors' hopes of a place at Finals Day.

Warriors Sevens: 1 Tom Dodd, 2 Jaike Carter, 3 Sam Ripper-Smith, 4 Huw Taylor (C), 5 Ted Hill, 6 Ben Fowles, 7 Josh Adams, 8 Tiff Eden, 9 Harry Cochrane, 10 Dion King, 11 Jordan Ainslie, 12 Craig Jackson 

Group D results:
Sale Sharks 12-31 Newcastle Falcons 
Leicester Tigers 26-24 Warriors
Leicester Tigers 7-55 Sale Sharks
Newcastle Falcons 21-24 Warriors
Sale Sharks 31-0 Warriors

Leicester Tigers 17-26 Newcastle Falcons