Warriors were forced to settle for a losing-bonus point as Newcastle Falcons edged a tight affair 23-20 at Sixways on Saturday afternoon.
Newcastle got off to a bright start as clinical finishes from Sonatane Takulua and Sinoti Sinoti saw them race to a 14-0 lead before Duncan Weir slotted a penalty for the hosts.
A George McGuigan yellow card followed by a penalty try after a deliberate knock-on from Johnny Williams who was also sin-binned, saw Warriors back in the contest just before the break and they levelled it after half-time when Duncan Weir converted his own try.
Toby Flood and Chris Pennell exchanged penalties but Flood knocked one over late on and despite Warriors’ best efforts, Newcastle held on to take the spoils.
Warriors started brightly as they shipped the ball wide to Adams who made inroads down the left flank in the first few minutes but it was the hosts who opened the scoring following a bulldozing Sami Mavinga run and the prop had scrum-half Takulua in support to race over the line.
Falcons soon flew over for their second try as they showed how clinical they were with their second chance as winger Sinoti wriggled into space to score.
Warriors had their chances in the first 20, with Bryce Heem showcasing his explosive attacking play every time he got his hands on the ball, but he and his teammates couldn’t convert pressure into points as they made errors in the gold zone to let the visitors off the hook.
However, Alan Solomons’ side finally got off the mark after winning a penalty at the scrum allowing Weir to slot three points.
Newcastle hooker McGuigan was later sin-binned for bringing down the maul after some heavy Warriors pressure, and the men in Blue and Gold patiently went through the scrums and phases as they searched endlessly for their first try.
After over five minutes of pressure, Warriors looked to sweep it wide and Falcons centre Williams’ deliberate knock-on gave the hosts the reward they were desperately searching for, as Wayne Barnes sent the man to the bin and went under the sticks to reward Worcester with seven points just before the break.
Against 13 men early in the second period, Warriors couldn’t get the possession they wanted and it was the visitors who, against the odds, added the next points as Flood registered a straightforward penalty from the 22.
Warriors managed to level the scores ten minutes into the second period after Ryan Mills’ deft kick through was chased down by the grateful Weir who stepped up to convert his try.
When Falcons got back to their full quota, they soon enjoyed a spell of possession and territory before a tackle off the ball allowed Flood to edge them back ahead from the tee.
Warriors faltered at the lineout at crucial periods throughout the game as they looked to reapply the pressure but up stepped Pennell to land a penalty from halfway to level the scores with ten minutes to go.
However, Newcastle regained the lead just a few minutes later as Flood knocked over a penalty following pressure on the tryline.
Warriors searched the bottom of the bag to try and squeeze a win at the death but mistakes in the final third cost them as the visitors held on for the four points.
A tough away trip to Welford Road awaits next week for Solomons’ men.
Warriors | 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Bryce Heem (Beck 40), 13 Francois Venter, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Duncan Weir (Lance 65), 9 Francois Hougaard; 1 Callum Black (Bower 51), 2 Joe Taufete’e (Singleton 51), 3 Simon Kerrod (Milasinovich 57), 4 Pierce Phillips (Bresler 57), 5 Darren Barry, 6 Marco Mama (Faosiliva 57), 7 Sam Lewis, 8 GJ van Velze (C)
Replacements | 16 Jack Singleton, 17 Ryan Bower, 18 Gareth Milasinovich, 19 Anton Bresler, 20 Alafoti Faosiliva, 21 Michael Heaney, 22 Jono Lance, 23 Ashley Beck
06m | Takulua try 0-5
07m | Flood con 0-7
12m | Sinoti try 0-12
13m | Flood con 0-14
22m | Weir pen 3-14
40m | Penalty try 10-14
45m | Flood pen 10-17
50m | Weir try 15-17
51m | Weir con 17-17
57m | Flood pen 17-20
70m | Pennell pen 20-20
73m | Flood pen 20-23
|Competition:||Gallagher Premiership Rugby|
|8||GJ van Velze|