Warriors threw a wonderful farewell party for departing players and coaches by ending the season with a six-try bonus point victory in a richly-entertaining contest at Sixways.
The win ensured that Warriors finished eleventh in the table and meant Bath finished bottom but, more importantly, it sent Niall Annett, Sam Lewis, Ethan Waller, Alan Solomons and the other players and staff who will leave Sixways at the end of the season on their way on a high.
Jamie Shillcock gatecrashed the party by scoring a hat-trick of tries in the second-half but no-one seemed to mind. The day was all about those who will not be at Sixways next season and the Bank Holiday crowd celebrated the win raucously, enjoyed the post-match parade with the Premiership Rugby Cup and the opportunity to spend time on the pitch with their heroes.
It was harum-scarum at times and Bath led by ten points early in the second half when hooker Tom Dunn scored the bonus point try.
Those who thought that the absence of relegation might lead to a lack of intensity in this match were wrong.
Warriors responded magnificently to the prospect of defeat and ending bottom of the pile.
Shillcock scored twice in the space of three minutes to put Warriors ahead, a lead that they did not surrender.
Shillcock’s first try came after a brilliant chip ahead from Gareth Simpson, excellent support play from Christian Judge – another departing player – and crisp handling along the backs.
Ted Hill then followed up a kick ahead and the ball was moved right where Shillcock joined the line and went over for his second and a key decision then went Warriors’ way when Bath had their captain Charlie Ewels sin-binned for a shoulder-to-head tackle on Kyle Hatherell.
Not only were Bath reduced to 14-men for ten minutes but they also had a try disallowed for the offence which came earlier in the attack.
Instead it was Warriors who sealed the win when Joe Batley charged down an attempted clearance close to the line and dotted down.
Shillcock’s hat-trick dashed Bath’s hopes of a losing bonus point and came after another superb sustained attack with Duhan van der Merwe, who was a menacing presence all afternoon, drew two tacklers and slipped an inside pass to the full-back.
Hatherell had opened the scoring when he drove over from close range after four minutes but Bath were dangerous in attack and were 19-10 up at the break after wing Will Muir scored twice and tighthead Will Stuart picked a gap in the defence.
But Fin Smith’s accurate kicking – he missed only one kick all afternoon – kept Warriors in contention the deficit was reduced to two points four minutes into the second-half when Shillcock and van der Merwe combined superbly and Simpson got a boot rather than a hand to a pass and followed up to score.
Lewis and Annett were both substituted late on and each left to a standing ovation from an appreciative crowd for their outstanding contributions to Warriors over the years.
Warriors | 15 Jamie Shillcock (Heward 78), 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Francois Venter (Hearle 65) , 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Fin Smith, 9 Gareth Simpson (Chudley 70), 1 Rory Sutherland (Waller 65), 2 Niall Annett (Miller 73), 3 Christian Judge (McCallum 65), 4 Joe Batley (A Kitchener 70), 5 Graham Kitchener, 6 Kyle Hatherell, 7 Sam Lewis (Dodd 65), 8 Ted Hill (C).
Replacements | 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Murray McMurray, 19 Andrew Kitchener, 20 Tom Dodd, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Noah Heward, 23 Alex Hearle.
4m | Hatherell try 5-0
5m | Smith con 7-0
19m | Muir try 7-5
23m | Muir try 7-10
24m | Bailey con 7-12
31m | Smith pen 10-12
33m | Stuart try 10-17
34m | Bailey con 10-19
44m | Simpson try 15-19
45m | Smith con 17-19
47m | Bailey pen 17-22
49m | Dunn try 17-27
52m | Shillcock try 22-27
53m | Smith con 24-27
55m | Shillcock try 29-27
56m | Smith con 31-27
61m | Batley try 36-27
77m | Shillcock try 41-27
78m | Smith con 43-27
- Thank you to EBC Group, the Official Technology Partner of Worcester Warriors for being today’s Match Sponsor. Find out more here
- Thank you to Parweld Ltd for being today’s match ball sponsor. Find out more information here