Hougaard helps Worcester end losing run
PREMIERSHIP WEDNESDAY WRAP: Springbok scrumhalf Francois Hougaard was one of Worcester’s four try-scorers in their 29-14 win over Harlequins at Sixways on Wednesday.
It was a big result for Worcester as they ended an eight-match losing run. It was also their first Premiership win in 2020.
Meanwhile, in other results, an inexperienced Saracens side beat Gloucester 36-20 in London, while Leicester Tigers edged London Irish 13-7.
In Wednesday’s later game, Northampton Saints went down 3-18 at home to Bath.
At Sixways, the Warriors used their new weapon of mass destruction, a 12-man maul, to devastating effect to flatten Harlequins and secure their first bonus-point win of the season.
Warriors unveiled the tactic at Wasps last Friday, scored one try but used it sparingly. Here they employed it often and effectively, shunting Harlequins back from a series of five-metre line-outs and scoring four tries, all of them in the first half.
The win gave Warriors their first double over Harlequins in 15 years.
The Warriors needed only five minutes to take a firm grip on the game when Duncan Weir kicked a penalty to the corner, Graham Kitchener claimed the line-out and the 12-man maul muscled Cornell du Preez over for the try which Weir converted.
A repeat dose followed seven minutes later, Kitchener again securing the line-out and the mass maul producing a try for Ollie Lawrence, probably the shortest distance the centre has ever had to cover for a try.
Harlequins knew what was coming when Weir thumped another penalty into the corner, but they could not halt the juggernaut with Niall Annett emerging from a heap of bodies with the ball although this time referee
Jack Makepeace sought confirmation from TMO Tom Foley before the try was awarded.
Weir added the conversion before aggressive defence forced Harlequins into a series of errors which led to Warriors’ bonus point try.
This time there was a slight variation on a theme as Weir found touch in the right-hand corner. Skipper Ted Hill claimed the line-out, the 12-man maul shunted Quins back but this time the ball was released to Francois Hougaard who darted over close to the posts with Weir adding the extras.
Warriors struggled to maintain the momentum in a scruffy second half with a high penalty count at the breakdown negating dominance at the set-piece.
Weir kicked a 47th-minute penalty as an insurance policy and it proved to be Warriors’ only points of the second period.
Harlequins rallied in the final quarter with Chris Ashton going over for a kick-and-rush try and replacement hooker Elia Elia then brushed the whitewash when Quins employed a driving maul of their own.
Worcester Warriors 29-14 Harlequins
For Worcester Warriors:
Tries: Du Preez, Lawrence, Annett, Hougaard
Cons: Weir 3
Tries: Ashton, Elia
Cons: Lang 2
Yellow card: Callum Black (Worcester Warriors, 75)
Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Tom Howe, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Noah Heward, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Cornell du Preez, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Ted Hill (captain), 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Niall Annett, 1 Ethan Waller.
Replacements: 16 Beck Cutting, 17 Callum Black, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Andrew Kitchener, 20 Sam Lewis, 21 Gareth Simpson, 22 Billy Searle, 23 Ashley Beck.
Harlequins: 15 Aaron Morris, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Luke Northmore, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Brett Herron, 9 Scott Steele, 8 Tom Lawday (captain), 7 Will Evans, 6 Dino Lamb, 5 Tevita Cavubati, 4 Glen Young, 3 Will Collier, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Santiago Garcia Botta.
Replacements: 16 Elia Elia, 17 Marc Thomas, 18 Maks van Dyk, 19 Archie White, 20 James Chisholm, 21 Danny Care, 22 Paul Lasike, 23 James Lang.
Referee: Jack Makepeace
Assistant Referees: Peter Allan, Phil Watters
TMO: Tom Foley
👏 Things you love to see! pic.twitter.com/WtyR4W8k8E
— Worcester Warriors (@WorcsWarriors) August 26, 2020
Leicester Tigers 13-7 London Irish
For Leicester Tigers:
Pens: Ford 2
For London Irish:
Yellow card: Calum Green (Leicester Tigers, 55)
Leicester Tigers: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 David Williams, 13 Jaco Taute, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Hanro Liebenberg, 5 Calum Green, 4 Harry Wells, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs (captain), 1 Ellis Genge.
Replacements: 16 Charlie Clare, 17 Nephi Leatigaga, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 George Martin, 20 Luke Wallace, 21 Ben White, 22 Zack Henry, 23 Jordan Olowofela.
London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Tom Parton, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Terrence Hepetema, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Albert Tuisue, 7 Blair Cowan (captain), 6 Ben Donnell, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 4 George Nott, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Motu Matu’u, 1 Harry Elrington.
Replacements: 16 Matt Cornish, 17 Will Goodrick-Clarke, 18 Lovejoy Chawatama, 19 Jack Cooke, 20 TJ Ioane, 21 Rory Brand, 22 Jacob Atkins, 23 Ross Neal.
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Andrew Jackson, Wayne Falla
TMO: Sean Davey
One for the purists…
— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) August 26, 2020
Saracens 36-20 Gloucester
Tries: Harris, Woolstencroft 3, Whiteley
Pens: Daly 2, Vunipola
Tries: Varney, Walker, Rees-Zammit
Saracens: 15 Will Hooley, 14 Ben Harris, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Elliott Obatoyinbo, 10 Manu Vunipola, 9 Tom Whiteley, 8 Andy Christie, 7 Sean Reffell, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Tim Swinson, 4 Joel Kpoku, 3 Alec Clarey, 2 Tom Woolstencroft, 1 Richard Barrington.
Replacements: 16 Kapeli Pifeleti, 17 Sam Crean, 18 Josh Ibuanokpe, 19 Cameron Boon, 20 Janco Venter, 21 Alex Day, 22 Harry Sloan, 23 Charlie Watson.
Gloucester: 15 Charlie Sharples, 14 Matt Banahan, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Mark Atkinson (captain), 11 Louis Rees-Zammit, 10 Lloyd Evans, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Jack Clement, 7 Jordy Reid, 6 Josh Gray, 5 Danny Drake, 4 Charlie Beckett, 3 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Logovi’i Mulipola.
Replacements: 16 Henry Walker, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Ciaran Knight, 19 Cameron Jordan, 20 Joe Howard, 21 Charlie Chapman, 22 George Barton, 23 Tom Seabrook.
Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant Referees: Adam Leal, Roy Maybank
TMO: Karl Dickson
Leading by example 🙌@TWoolfy scored three pushovers to help Sarries to victory over Gloucester.
— Saracens Rugby Club (@Saracens) August 26, 2020
Northampton Saints 3-18 Bath
For Northampton Saints:
Tries: Glanville, McConnochie
Pens: Matavesi, Priestland
Yellow card: JJ Tonks (Northampton Saints, 15)
Northampton Saints: 15 Harry Mallinder, 14 Ahsee Tuala, 13 Fraser Dingwall, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Henry Taylor, 8 Teimana Harrison (captain), 7 JJ Tonks, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Api Ratuniyarawa, 4 David Ribbans, 3 Owen Franks, 2 James Fish, 1 Nick Auterac.
Replacements: 16 Sam Matavesi, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Ehren Painter, 19 Lewis Bean, 20 Tui Uru, 21 Tom James, 22 Rory Hutchinson, 23 Tommy Freeman.
Bath: 15 Tom de Glanville, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Max Clark, 12 Cameron Redpath, 11 Gabriel Hamer-Webb, 10 Josh Matavesi, 9 Will Chudley, 8 Zach Mercer, 7 Josh Bayliss (captain), 6 Mike Williams, 5 Elliott Stooke, 4 Will Spencer, 3 Christian Judge, 2 Jack Walker, 1 Beno Obano.
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Lewis Boyce, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Miles Reid, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Ruaridh McConnochie.
Referee: Christophe Ridley
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix, Jamie Leahy
TMO: Wayne Barnes
Additional source: @WorcsWarriors