Warriors made an impressive start to their European Challenge cup campaign with a crushing nine try victory over the Russian champions in Krasnodar.
Despite a long and tiring journey and playing the match in a near-deserted Kuban Stadium – which has a capacity of 31,000 – a young Warriors team demonstrated supreme professionalism by securing the bonus point before half-time.
Jamie Shillcock orchestrated Warriors’ victory with a hat-trick of tries and a match haul of 27 points but this was very much a team performance.
Enisei, unable to stage matches at home because of the harsh Siberian winter, had a hefty pack but Warriors’ speed and fitness proved decisive in a fast and open contest on a perfect playing surface.
Warriors were tested in defence by Enisei in the first 15 minutes but once Richard Palframan went over for his first try for Warriors it was clear that the sting had been drawn from the Russians.
Nick David went over on the overlap within minutes of replacing the injured Dean Hammond midway through the first-half and Shillcock added the conversion.
Shillcock scored the third try himself when he cut through with angled run and then made a difficult conversion look easy.
The bonus point was secured when Ollie Lawrence made ground from a lineout on Enisei’s 22 and Jono Kitto, captain for the night, broke two tackles to dot down near the posts for his maiden Warriors try.
The referee found three minutes of added time at the end of the first half but that was enough for Warriors to capitalise on a handling error from Enisei and launch another swift counter-attack with debutant Oli Morris racing clear.
Warriors were 31 points up at the break and went further ahead when Justin Clegg powered over for his first senior try.
A superb attack from defence from David was finished by Shillcock for his second try before Enisei rewarded their small band of supporters with a try from Davit Meskhi which Ramil Gaisin improved.
But Shillcock was not to be denied his hat-trick which came after he opened up the Enisei defence with a shimmy before he chipped ahead, gathered his kick and raced away to score with his conversion bringing up the half century.
Enisei scored again late on when openside flanker Dmitry Krotov went over from a driving maul but Warriors had the last word when Shillcock again made the running and Gareth Simpson also bagged his first try.
With the early kick-off in the Russian Caucasus, Warriors became the first winners in either of the European competitions this season.
Warriors | 15 Perry Humphreys, 14 Dean Hammond (David 20), 13 Oli Morris, 12 Ollie Lawrence, 11 Tom Howe, 10 Jamie Shillcock, 9 Jono Kitto (Simpson 66), 1 Ryan Bower (Owen 55), 2 Isaac Miller (Cutting 61), 3 Richard Palframan, 4 Andrew Kitchener (Scott 41), 5 Justin Clegg, 6 Matt Cox, 7 Matti Williams (Monks 56), 8 Tom Dodd.
Replacements | 16 Beck Cutting, 17 Kai Owen, 18 Joe Morris, 19 James Scott, 20 Morgan Monks, 21 Michael Heaney, 22 Gareth Simpson, 23 Nick David.
17m | Palframan try 0-5
22m | David try 0-10
23m | Shillcock con 0-12
32m | Shillcock try 0-17
33m | Shillcock con 0-19
36m | Kitto try 0-24
37m | Shillcock con 0-26
40m | O Morris try 0-31
56m | Clegg try 0-36
60m | Shillcock try 0-41
61m | Shillcock con 0-43
65m | Meskhi try 5-43
66m | Gaisin con 7-43
71m | Shillcock try 7-48
72m | Shillcock con 7-50
75m | Krotov try 12-50
76m | Gaisin try 14-50
78m | Simpson try 14-55
79m Shillcock con 14-57