Warriors take another blow
REPORT: Cash-strapped Worcester put their off-field problems to one side in a spirited display before losing 21-36 at home to Exeter in a Premiership clash on Sunday.
Worcester’s debts have soared to a reported £25 million (US$28 million) and this weekend’s game only got the go-ahead this past Friday after the Warriors just met a deadline to provide a safety certificate for matches at their Sixways Stadium.
Many Worcester players and staff have received just 65 percent of their salaries for August, a point recognised by several members of the backroom team forming a guard of honour for the Warriors side that took the field Sunday in front of a limited crowd of 5,000.
Despite all the off-field struggles, Worcester was competitive against Exeter before the 2020 double winners eventually outscored the home team by five tries to three.
Worcester co-owner Jason Whittingham released another statement Sunday saying he believes the club will have new owners – and investment – within the next 48 hours.
But the players still had to take to the field in last season’s kit and the game only went ahead after several staff members worked for free.
In the match itself, Exeter No.8 Richard Capstick scored two tries, with Olly Woodburn, Jack Maunder and Joe Simmonds, who kicked four conversions and a penalty, also going over for the southwest side.
Alex Hearle, Gareth Simpson and Ollie Lawrence all scored tries for Worcester, with two of those scores converted by Owen Williams and Billy Searle adding the goal points for the other.
Victory saw Exeter move second in the table after two rounds, a point behind early pacesetters Sale.
But this result, albeit a vast improvement on their 14-45 loss away to London Irish last week, left Midlands club Worcester bottom of the 13-team table and still searching for their first points of the 2022/23 campaign.
For Worcester Warriors
Tries: Hearle, Simpson, Lawrence
Cons: Williams 2, Searle
Tries: Simmonds, Capstick 2, Woodburn, Maunder
Cons: Simmonds 4
Worcester: 15 Jamie Shillcock, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Francois Venter (captain), 11 Alex Hearle, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Gareth Simpson, 8 Tom Dodd, 7 Cameron Neild, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Andrew Kitchener, 4 Joe Batley, 3 Murray McCallum, 2 Curtis Langdon, 1 Valeriy Morozov.
Replacements: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 Jay Tyack, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Billy Searle, 23 Noah Heward.
Exeter: 15 Joe Simmonds, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Rory O’Loughlin, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Harvey Skinner, 9 Stuart Townsend, 8 Richard Capstick, 7 Christ Tshiunza, 6 Jannes Kirsten, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Jack Dunne, 3 Marcus Street, 2 Jack Yeandle (captain), 1 Alec Hepburn.
Replacements: 16 Jack Innard, 17 James Kenny, 18 Patrick Scickerling, 19 Ruben van Heerden, 20 Dave Ewers, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Solomone Kata, 23 Facundo Cordero.
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Dan Jones, Peter Allan
TMO: Claire Hodnett