Warriors pulled off a remarkable 44-37 bonus-point victory at Leicester Tigers to secure their first win of the Gallagher Premiership campaign on Sunday.
Nineteen-year-old Academy product Ted Hill came off the bench to score a brace on his Premiership Rugby debut as Warriors made it back-to-back wins at Welford Road in an enthralling contest.
Worcester led 30-11 at the break after a sublime first-half which saw Duncan Weir bag two tries in the first six minutes before Jack Singleton and Chris Pennell added scores to secure the try-bonus point.
Hill scored early in the second-half to put the game almost beyond doubt at 37-11, but a tremendous fightback from Tigers saw them level the scores with just a couple of minutes remaining with tries for Jonny May, David Denton, Sione Kalamafoni and George Ford.
As the pendulum swung the way of Tigers, it looked as if the home side might be able to pinch one of the most unlikeliest comebacks in rugby history before teenager Hill leapt over in the corner at the death to seal an unforgettable day for him and Warriors.
Alan Solomons’ men enjoyed a whirlwind start as they did last year, with Weir capitalising to cross the whitewash after Bryce Heem had made inroads within the first couple of minutes.
The Scotsman stepped up to convert and just several minutes later, he was there to dart over again after Warriors turned over ball by their ten-metre.
Ryan Mills set Francois Venter going before his offload to Heem, and after Warriors recycled, Sam Lewis broke with Pierce Phillips in support and Weir then went in untouched under the posts.
His conversion made it 14-0 before Tigers finally got some ball in hand and they got reward with two Ford penalties.
However, Weir was running the show for Warriors as he slotted a 30-metre penalty to extend his side’s advantage.
The ever-impressive Heem then smashed his way through the Tigers backline again before Venter almost stretched over, but Warriors recycled with Francois Hougaard finding Weir and the fly-half sent a long looping pass out to hooker Singleton to crash over in the corner.
Tigers responded immediately however as Guy Thompson burrowed over from a driving maul but Warriors continued to dominate proceedings as man-of-the-moment Weir orchestrated another break which got his side moving forward and exploiting space out right.
Heem battered his way forward before falling just short but Warriors recycled and Mills flung the ball out to Pennell to dot down and secure Warriors’ try-bonus point.
And Warriors weren’t done there before the break. Weir, Hill, Heem and Pennell almost grabbed a fifth try out right before a penalty for a tackle on the man without the ball allowed Weir to kick at goal and take his tally to 20 points for the day, sending Worcester in 30-11 ahead at half-time.
Academy product Hill came on to make his Premiership debut in the first-half for Warriors and didn’t look out of place in the top flight, and when Warriors put pressure on Tigers in their 22, they turned the ball over from a lineout allowing the young back row to power over. Pennell slotted the conversion to make it 37-11 as the game looked done and dusted.
But in a very credible fightback from Leicester, a May chip-and-chase try kicked through by Ford gave Tigers their second before ex-Warrior Denton crashed over from close range with Ford’s extras putting the hosts within 14 with 15 minutes remaining.
The hosts exploited some space out wide soon after with number eight Kalamafoni crashing over for the try-bonus point and Ford’s kick brought them within seven.
It was edge-of-the-seat stuff as Warriors looked to hold on but Ford made a break before wriggling over the line under tackles and his conversion dramatically levelled the scores at 37-37 with three minutes to go.
With the balance having swung in favour of the hosts, the home crowd sensed one of the most amazing comebacks but a brave, never-say-die attitude from Warriors saw them put the pressure on five metres out before youngster Hill provided the match-winning score in the corner for his second try.
Weir slotted the conversion sending Warriors and their travelling support into raptures after one of the most entertaining games in recent times.
A massive five points for Warriors who head to Exeter Chiefs next weekend.
Warriors | 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Duncan Weir (Lance 53-64), 9 Francois Hougaard; 1 Callum Black (Bower 64), 2 Jack Singleton (Taufete’e 64), 3 Nick Schonert (Milasinovich 53), 4 Anton Bresler, 5 Pierce Phillips (Barry 40), 6 Marco Mama, 7 Sam Lewis (Hill 26), 8 GJ van Velze (C)
Replacements | 16 Joe Taufete’e, 17 Ryan Bower, 18 Gareth Milasinovich, 19 Darren Barry, 20 Ted Hill, 21 Michael Heaney, 22 Jono Lance, 23 Ashley Beck
03m | Weir try 0-5
03m | Weir con 0-7
05m | Weir try 0-12
06m | Weir con 0-14
12m | Ford pen 3-14
17m | Ford pen 6-14
19m | Weir pen 6-17
23m | Singleton try 6-22
27m | Thompson try 11-22
35m | Pennell try 11-27
40m | Weir pen 11-30
53m | Hill try 11-35
54m | Pennell con 11-37
58m | May try 16-37
63m | Denton try 21-37
64m | Ford con 23-37
72m | Kalamafoni try 28-37
73m | Ford con 30-37
76m | Ford try 35-37
77m | Ford con 37-37
79m | Hill try 37-42
80m | Weir con 37-44
|Competition:||Gallagher Premiership Rugby|
|8||GJ van Velze|