Warriors were unable to gatecrash Northampton’s end-of-season party in a bruising encounter at Franklin’s Gardens.
Warriors lost Perry Humphreys, Francois Venter and Nick Schonert to head injuries in the first half and replacement tighthead prop Gareth Milasinovich departed with a similar injury in the second half.
Despite a brave defensive rearguard Warriors were also battered by Northampton’s giant wing Taqele Naiyarovoro who scored two first half tries and caused problems throughout.
Warriors shored up the defence in the second half with replacements Ted Hill and Andrew Kitchener both putting in big shifts which limited Northampton to just one second half score.
But the damage was done in the first half when Northampton made the most of a downfield wind and Warriors’ enforced reorganisation caused by injures and the sin-binning of Francois Hougaard, to secure the try bonus point after 32 minutes.
Nothing went right for Warriors in the first half. Wing Humphreys went early on and failed his Head Injury Assessment and centre Venter and tighthead Schonert followed him into the medical room.
Both also failed their HIA which meant Schonert’s 100th Warriors appearance lasted just 30 minutes.
To make matters worse Hougaard, who was switched to the wing after Humphreys’ departure, to the sin bin as he scrambled back to halt Naiyaravoro.
Warriors had already fallen behind to a try from ormer England centre Luther Burrell who got the scoreboard ticking when he powered over just four minutes into his farewell home appearance.
Dan Biggar added the conversion and also improved a quick brace of tries from Naiyarovoro either side of a penalty from Duncan Weir.
Northampton, pushing for a play-off place, wrapped up the bonus point when Tom Wood was shunted over from a lineout drive and Biggar again converted.
Warriors responded with their best period of sustained pressure in the first half and they reduced the deficit just before the break when Ben Te’o powered over under the posts and Weir added the conversion.
That proved to be Warriors’ last score although they produced some promising approach work in attack in the second half and frustrated Northampton with some stout defence.
Biggar landed a 52nd minute penalty and hooker Reece Marshall was driven from a lineout drive with Biggar again converting before Northampton said farewell to ten departing players in their final home match of the season.
Warriors | 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Perry Humphreys (Heaney 5), 13 Francois Venter (Lance 21), 12 Ben Te’o, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Francois Hougaard, 1 Ethan Waller (Black 63), 2 Niall Annett (Singleton 61), 3 Nick Schonert (Milasinovich 30-72) (Waller 72), 4 Anton Bresler (Fatialofa 53), 5 Darren Barry (Kitchener 53), 6 Cornell du Preez, 7 Sam Lewis (Hill 41), 8 GJ van Velze (C).
Replacements | 16 Jack Singleton, 17 Callum Black, 18 Gareth Milasinovich, 19 Michael Fatialofa, 20 Andrew Kitchener, 21 Ted Hill, 22 Michael Heaney, 23 Jono Lance.
4m | Burrell try 5-0
5m Biggar con 7-0
20m | Naiyaravoro try 12-0
21m | Biggar con 14-0
24m | Weir pen 14-3
26m | Naiyaravoro try 19-3
27m | Biggar con 21-3
32m | Wood try 26-3
33m | Biggar con 28-3
39m | Te’o try 28-8
40m | Weir con 28-10
52m | Biggar pen 31-10
60m | Marshall try 36-10
61m | Biggar con 38-10