Highlights & report | Wasps 23-19 Worcester Warriors

It was another case of so near, yet so far for Warriors who had to settle for a losing bonus point at the Ricoh Arena.

Warriors battled back from being seven points adrift early in the second half to go 19-16 up after Sam Lewis crossed for a well-worked try after 50 minutes and Billy Searle added the conversion and two penalties against his old club..

The sending-off of Wasps flanker Ben Morris for a dangerous tackle on Ollie Lawrence after 58 minutes looked like being a decisive moment in Warriors’ favour.

Instead the incident appeared to galvanise Wasps who managed the game better when they were down to 14 men and snatched the win when replacement hooker was driven over from close range and Jacob Umaga added the conversion.

Warriors also ended the match with 14 men after Lewis was sin-binned for collapsing a maul but there was a chance to win the game at the death when Wasps were twice penalised, Searle kicked to the corner, Justin Clegg won the lineout but Ed Fidow was penalised for an accidental offside.

At the start of the match Warriors lost tighthead prop Richard Palframan with a suspected broken thumb after just three minutes which meant that Wales international Scott Andrews had more game time on his debut than anticipated.

Andrews, signed on loan from Cardiff Blues to cover injuries, had a difficult afternoon, not helped by the loss of Ethan Waller just before the break after he took a heavy blow to the head in a tackle.

Ashley Beck also departed before the break with a shoulder injury but Warriors did well to be only ten points down at half-time.

Searle struck an early penalty but Wasps responded with a close range try from Brad Shields and it could easily have been more.
But Warriors defended doggedly and withstood a long period of pressure without conceding more points.

Having opted to run or kick to touch from a succession of penalties, Wasps eventually turned to Umaga to extend their lead with two penalties in the final ten minutes of the half.

A third penalty followed soon after the break but Warriors controlled the third quarter and were rewarded when Niall Annett broke from a lineout, Francois Venter – who impressed on his 50th appearance – broke the line and Lewis finished off.

Searle added the extras then levelled the scored with a penalty from close to halfway which just crept over the bar.

Another penalty three minutes later put Warriors in front as Searle finished with 100% accuracy from the tee but Wasps circled the wagons after Morris was red carded and capitalised from a penalty to the corner with a driving maul that was finished by Taylor.

Warriors | 15 Jamie Shillcock, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Ashley Beck (Lawrenec 30), 11 Harri Doel (Fidow 62), 10 Billy Searle, 9 Francois Hougaard (Simpson 75), 1 Ethan Waller (Thomas 31), 2 Niall Annett (Miller 70), 3 Richard Palframan (Andrews 3), 4 Andrew Kitchener (Bresler 70), 5 Justin Clegg, 6 Ted Hill (C), 7 Sam Lewis, 8 Matt Kvesic (Batley 74).

Replacements | 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Marc Thomas, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Anton Bresler, 20 Joe Batley, 21 Gareth Simpson, 22 Ollie Lawrence, 23 Ed Fidow.

3m | Searle pen 0-3
6m | Shields try 5-3
7m | Umaga con 7-3
33m | Umaga pen 10-3
38m | Umaga pen 13-3
44m | Searle pen 13-6
47m | Umaga pen 16-6
50m | Lewis try 16-11
51m | Searle con 16-13
54m | Searle pen 16-16
57m | Searle pen 16-19
66m | Taylor try 21-19
67m | Umaga con 23-19

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