40 - 27HT 28 - 19

Sixways
Att TBC
Wed 30 Sep 20, 5:30pm

Highlights & Report | Warriors 40-27 Saracens

Warriors signed off their Sixways season with a third bonus point win since the resumption against an inexperienced Saracens side who played a full part in a high-scoring contest.

For the first time Warriors scored 40 points twice in a Premiership season with this win coming after a 40-25 success over London Irish in their previous outing.

Warriors had the bonus point wrapped up inside 31 minutes thanks to a first half brace from the influential Francois Hougaard who also set up another for Noah Heward.

But momentum was lost in a disjointed second half and Warriors required late tries from Ashley Beck and skipper Ted Hill to see off Saracens.

The positives for Warriors were the return to action of Perry Humphreys – who looked sharp throughout –  and Marco Mama after lengthy injury lay-offs and a lively debut off the bench for former Bristol Bears lock Joe Batley, recently recovered from a foot injury.

Justin Clegg bossed the lineouts in the absence of the injured Graham Kitchener and rookie  Heward again looked calm and composed on the left wing.

Heavy rain immediately before kick-off and for the first 20 minutes made handling difficult but both sides produced some entertaining attacking rugby and served up seven tries before the break.

Hougaard led the way with a close range effort after three minutes when Billy Searle kicked a penalty to the corner, Clegg won the lineout and Saracens were drawn offside at the driving maul.

Referee Karl Dickson played advantage and Hougaard capitalised, picking a gap in the defence and powering over for the try which Searle improved.

Saracens drew level again with their first visit to Warriors’ 22 when they won a lineout, went through the phases and centre Charlie Watson crashed over with Manu Vunipola converting.

Warriors responded with a try from Heward, set up by a clever kick through from Hougaard. The referee checked with TMO Sara Cox for a possible offside but the try was good and Searle added a difficult conversion.

The scores were level again within a minute as Warriors failed to secure the restart and Rotimi Segun wriggled free and Watson followed up with his second try which Vunipola improved.

Warriors continued to look threatening in attack and were awarded a penalty try when Saracens Elliott Obatoyinbo was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on. Obatoyinbo was yellow-careded immediately and the referee used the water break to study replays before deciding the full-back’s actions denied Warriors a certain try.

Warriors scored again just before Obatoyinbo returned to the fray, this time Heward setting up Hougaard with a lovely kick through which was superbly controlled by the scrum-half who secured the bonus point.

Heward got away again late in the half and found Matt Kvesic in support but the flanker lost the ball in contact and it was picked up in an offside position.

Saracens turned defence into attack when they kicked the penalty to halfway, won the lineout and worked wing Ali Crossdale free on the left for an unconverted try from his own kick through.

The second half was more disjointed and error-strewn and Warriors were heavily penalised at the breakdown which made it difficult to build momentum.

Saracens also pulled to within a converted try of taking the lead when Vunipola landed a 65th minute penalty, the first points of the half.

But Warriors soon slammed the door shut with a patient attack which created a gap for Beck who nipped in with Searle adding the extras.

The frenetic pace continued towards the end and Warriors produced their best try of the match when Perry Humphreys, back from an ankle injury, weaved his way up the right and excellent support play saw Hill plough over.

Hill scored Warriors’ first try of the Premiership season at Sixways against Leicester Tigers back in October  last year and also the last of a seemingly never-ending campaign that will finally conclude at Sale Sharks on Sunday.

Saracens had the final say with Crossdale crossing with the final play of the match to secure a bonus point.

Warriors | 15 Melani Nanai, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Ashley Beck (Pennell 74), 11 Noah Heward, 10 Billy Searle, 9 Francois Hougaard, 1 Ethan Waller (Black 58), 2 Niall Annett (Cutting 56), 3 Nick Schonert (Palframan 58), 4 Anton Bresler (Batley 63), 5 Justin Clegg, 6 Ted Hill (C), 7 Matt Kvesic (Mama 54),  8 Cornell du Preez.

Replacements | 16 Beck Cutting, 17 Callum Black, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Joe Batley, 20 Marco Mama, 21 Gareth Simpson, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Chris Pennell.

Timeline
3m | Hougaard try 5-0
4m | Searle con 7-0
11m | Watson try 7-5
12m | Vunipola con 7-7
16m | Heward try 12-7
17m | Searle con 14-7
18m | Watson try 14-12
19m | Vunipola con 14-14
21m | Penalty try 21-14
31m | Hougaard try 26-14
32m | Searle con 28-14
40m | Crossdale try 28-19
65m | Vunipola pen 28-22
68m | Beck try 33-22
69m | Searle con 35-22
78m | Hill try 40-22
80m | Crossdale 40-27

Competition: Gallagher Premiership Rugby
Venue: Sixways
Referee: Karl Dickson
Game Type: Home
Fixture Round: 21
Attendance:
No. Name T C D P
15 Elliott Obatoyinbo
14 Rotimi Segun
13 Charlie Watson 2T
12 Juan Pablo Socino
11 Ali Crossdale 2T
10 Manu Vunipola 2C 1P
9 Tom Whiteley
1 Richard Barrington
2 Tom Woolstencroft
3 Alec Clarey
4 Joel Kpoku
5 Cameron Boon
6 Callum Hunter-Hill
7 Ollie Stonham
8 Janco Venter
Replacements
16 Sam Crean
17 Sam Wainwright
18 Josh Ibuanokpe
19 Jonathan Kpoku
20 Ethan Benson
21 Alex Day
22 Harry Sloan
23 Ben Harris