Planet Rugby

Kicking stalemate at Sixways

27th November 2009 22:00

Share:

Worcester v Gloucester Willie Walker

12 points: Willie Walker

Top-of-the-table Saracens were held 12-12 by Worcester at Sixways on Friday as both sides traded penalties.

It was the first time that Brendan Venter's side had dropped Guinness Premiership points this season as their eight-match winning streak came to an end.

For the home side, it was the second 12-12 draw in consecutive weeks after the same score at Sixways against Bath.

Fly-half Willie Walker kept the home side in it with four penalties out of four and has scored all his team's points in the last three matches, with Worcester now having gone 240 minutes without scoring a try.

Saracens had impressively remained unbeaten in the Premiership matches before kick-off with some excellent victories while Worcester were looking for their first league win since a home verdict on September 26 against Sale Sharks.

Worcester lead 9-3 at the break thanks to Walker's accurate boot although it was not the best 40 minutes of Premiership rugby.

Unlike his opposite number, Saracens fly-half Derick Hougaard missed a drop-goal plus two out of three penalties, although they were all long-range efforts.

The nearest either side got to a try was just before the interval when Saracens pressed in the home 22.

The pressure told as Worcester fumbled the ball backwards and over their own line but were rescued when flanker Tom Wood just got to touch down ahead of visiting back row Andy Saull.

Otherwise it was a case of fumbled possession and first-class Worcester defence against a determined Saracens attacking outfit who had plenty of possession, some from the quality line-out throwing of hooker Schalk Brits and catching of lock Tom Ryder.

Saracens soaked up 12 minutes of pressure following the break as Worcester full-back Chris Latham aimed over their defensive line to keep the Londoners on the back foot.

But once Saracens found their rhythm, they began to make Worcester pay for their errors, particularly at the ruck.

Time and again, referee Martin Fox penalised the home team for illegally holding onto the ball on the ground and Hougaard made no mistake each time as he turned over a six point deficit into a three point advantage by the hour mark.

At times tempers flared and, after the forwards came together on the home try-line, referee Fox called over both captains before awarding a clearing penalty to Worcester.

As the final 10 minutes arrived, Worcester were awarded another penalty when Saracens infringed at a scrum in their own 22 for Walker to continue his faultless display with a fourth kick.

And, as Saracens looked to line up Hougaard for a winning drop-goal in the final minute, Worcester's forwards produced a powerful scrum to take a strike against the head and Walker hoofed the ball into the stands for another draw.

The scorers:

For Worcester:
Pen:
Walker 4

For Saracens:
Pen:
Hougaard 4

Worcester: 15 Chris Latham, 14 Marcel Garvey, 13 Dale Rasmussen, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Willie Walker, 9 Ryan Powell, 8 Kai Horstmann, 7 Pat Sanderson (c), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 Greg Rawlinson, 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 2 Aleki Lutui, 1 Callum Black.
Replacements: 16 Adam Black, 17 Chris Fortey, 18 Olivier Sourgens, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 James Collins, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Calum MacRae, 23 Rico Gear.

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Richard Haughton, 13 Kameli Ratuvou, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Derick Hougaard, 9 Justin Marshall, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Andy Saull, 6 Wikus van Heerden, 5 Tom Ryder, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Kasiano Lealamanua, 18 Richard Skuse, 19 Hugh Vyvyan, 20 Don Barrell, 21 Moses Rauluni, 22 Adam Powell, 23 Rodd Penney.

Referee: Martin Fox

  • Aviva Prem Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
Saturday , December 20
Sale vs Exeter14:00
Harlequins vs Newcastle15:00
Northampton vs Leicester15:00
Gloucester vs Bath15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
  • Aviva Prem Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
  • Aviva Prem Table
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821