Saracens battle back to beat Warriors
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: Saracens avenged their defeat to Exeter Chiefs last weekend with a battling 25-17 win over Worcester Warriors at Allianz Park.
Mark McCall’s men shipped a pair of early scores to the energetic Warriors before tries from Calum Clark and David Strettle turned the tide after the break.
All over at Allianz Park and @Saracens returned to winning ways with a BIG second-half performance 💪@WorcsWarriors battled, but the defending champions had Calum Clark and David Strettle to thank as they grabbed the victory 👏#GallagherPrem #SARvWOR pic.twitter.com/zESBiomVVt
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) December 29, 2018
Capitalising on the Chiefs’ shock defeat at Northampton Saints, Saracens went some way to repairing their defeat at Sandy Park last time out, but stay second in the Premiership.
The visitors stunned the reigning Premiership champions as the Warriors deservedly went ahead inside ten minutes – Francois Hougaard reacting first to a loose ball at the back of a Saracens ruck before offloading to Duncan Weir, who darted into the corner.
And after sloppy play with the ball in hand, Saracens were punished once more when Perry Humphreys spotted a gap in the hosts’ line and burst through.
He was hauled down by Ben Spencer, but the returning Ben Te’o was on hand to dot down under the sticks, with Weir making it 14-0 with the conversion.
Owen Farrell narrowed the deficit with a penalty, and Will Skelton had a score rightly disallowed when he lost control of the ball as he stretched for the line after bulldozing his way over.
Mako Vunipola finally made the breakthrough for the hosts when he crashed over from a driving maul on the half-hour mark to reduce arrears to six points.
Weir and Farrell traded penalties, but it was Worcester who took a well-deserved 17-11 lead into the break.
But Saracens started the second with a point to prove, squandering a handful of chances before Clark profited from an overlap to go over in the corner and give the hosts their first lead of the match.
Substitute Strettle padded their lead when he burst through the tiring Worcester line, grabbing the final score of the match and breaking Warriors’ resolve.
Tries: Vunipola, Clark, Strettle
Cons: Farrell 2
Pens: Farrell 2
For Worcester Warriors:
Tries: Weir, Te’o
Cons: Weir 2
Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Nick Tompkins, 12 Alex Lozowski, 11 Alex Lewington, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Ben Earl, 7 Calum Clark, 6 Nick Isiekwe, 5 George Kruis, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Tom Woolstencroft, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Christian Judge, 19 Dom Day, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Tom Whiteley, 22 Marcelo Bosch, 23 David Strettle.
Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Ben Te’o, 11 Perry Humphreys, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 GJ van Velze (captain), 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Ted Hill, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Gareth Milasinovich, 2 Jack Singleton, 1 Callum Black.
Replacements: 16 Joe Taufete’e, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 Pierce Phillips, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Ollie Lawrence, 23 Scott van Breda.
Referee: Karl Dickson
Assistant Referees: Adam Leal & Robert Warburton.
TMO: David Grashoff.