Worcester too good for Newcastle

Date published: November 7 2015

Worcester picked up a bonus-point 28-20 win over Newcastle to edge further clear of the bottom two in the Premiership.

The Warriors were clinical in the opening period, scoring converted tries through Chris Pennell, Alex Grove (twice) and new signing Bryce Heem.

Newcastle were also enterprising with the ball, but they went into the interval 28-17 down despite Micky Young and Tom Catterick touchdowns and seven points from the boot of Mike Delany.

Catterick kicked a penalty early in the second half but that proved to be the only score of the final 40 minutes as the Midlands' outfit went away with the victory.

Dean Richards' men have endured a shambolic start to the season, losing all four games and conceding points with regularity.

Those defensive frailties were evident early on against Worcester with the hosts scoring from their first attack of the match.

The touchdown was instigated by debutant Heem who shook off the initial tackle and took play to within five metres of the line. Scrum-half Jonny Arr did well to recycle the ball and it was shifted wide to Pennell who scampered across the whitewash unopposed.

To their credit, the Falcons grew into the contest and deservedly levelled when a spell of pressure resulted in Ally Hogg breaking the defensive alignment and off-loading to Young.

However, the Warriors were always dangerous with ball in hand and, after Alex Tait had misjudged a crossfield kick, Heem pounced to race away.

Tom Heathcote converted for the second time before he was on target again when another excellent move ended in Grove touching down.

That made it 21-7 for Worcester and, although Delany's penalty reduced the deficit, Newcastle couldn't stem the tide and the home side's outside centre went over for another try.

The visitors' rearguard was atrocious but they at least managed to keep the game alive at the break when they fashioned an excellent attack. Juan Pablo Socino made over 30 metres before play was moved onto Delany. The fly-half then passed to Catterick who stepped off his left foot and crossed the line.

Although the second half wasn't as exciting, it was arguably more competitive with the Falcons coming back into the game through a three-pointer by Catterick.

Defences were shored up as, despite the odd break, the Warriors held onto their eight-point buffer and secured a crucial win.

The scorers:

For Worcester Warriors:
Pennell, Heem, Grove 2
Cons: Heathcote 4

For Newcastle Falcons:
Young, Catterick
Cons: Delany 2
Pens: Delany, Catterick

Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Phil Dowson (c), 7 Marco Mama, 6 Matt Cox, 5 Darren Barry, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Niall Annett, 1 Val Rapava Ruskin.
Replacements: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Na'ama Leleimalefaga, 18 Joe Rees, 19 Darren O'Shea, 20 Sam Betty, 21 Charlie Mulchrone, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Ben Howard.

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Giamba Venditti, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Michael Young, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Nili Latu, 6 Will Welch, 5 Kane Thompson, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Jon Welsh, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Rob Vickers.
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Eric Fry, 18 Taione Vea, 19 Sean Robinson, 20 Todd Clever, 21 Ruki Tipuna, 22 Tom Catterick, 23 Tom Penny.

Venue: Sixways
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Peter Huckle, Paul Dix
TMO: Stuart Terheege