Planet Rugby

Heartbreak for Worcester

21st March 2014 21:36

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chris pennell worcester warriors

In-form: Chris Pennell

A last-minute Jake Cooper-Woolley try denied Worcester of their first win of the season as Wasps ran out 13-11 victors at Sixways.

With the clock in the red, the young prop crashed over from close range to level the scores at 11-11 after Worcester had defended for their lives in the last few minutes. Andy Goode's conversion condemned Worcester to a 22nd straight Premiership defeat.

In the week he was described as being "past his sell-by date" by Newcastle boss Dean Richards, Samoan winger David Lemi produced a piece of individual magic that threatened to breathe new life into his side's battle against the drop only for Wasps to hold their nerve and register their first win in six outings in all competitions.

There was little indication of the drama to come after a soporific first half which saw the sides go into the break locked at 3-3 after a long range penalty from Chris Pennell had been cancelled out by former Warrior Goode.

With 53 minutes on the clock and Worcester trailing 6-3 after a second Goode penalty, the game burst into life when pocket-rocket Lemi counter attacked down the left, burst past the veteran pivot and then stepped inside Elliot Daly before being tackled just short of the line by the tireless James Haskell.

Lemi was able to offload in contact and flanker Sam Betty was up in support to gather the bouncing ball for a try that lifted an otherwise subdued Sixways crowd.

Fired up, Lemi looked to get his hands on the ball at every opportunity and a couple more thrusts pinned Wasps back in their own 22. Sadly his involvement was curtailed when he limped off approaching the hour mark.

But a big hit by Pennell on Elliot Daly lifted Worcester again and a high tackle from Carlo Festuccia on Ravai Fatiaki presented Ryan Lamb with a long-range penalty that proved to be just inside his range.

Wasps' miserable night up until that point was summed up when they lost a lineout and then conceded a penalty five metres from the Warriors' line.

But they pressed on and after four minutes of concerted pressure, and nearly 150 tackles from the home side, Cooper-Woolley forced his way over and Goode kept his nerve to provide the cruelest of finishes.

The scorers:

For Worcester:
Try: Betty
Pens: Pennell, Lamb

For Wasps:
Try: Cooper-Woolley
Con: Goode
Pens:Goode 2

The teams:

Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Josh Drauniniu, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Ravai Fatiaki, 11 David Lemi, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Jonathan Thomas (c), 7 Sam Betty, 6 Mike Williams, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 James Percival, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Ofa Fainga'anuku.
Replacements: 16 Ed Shervington, 17 Paul Andrew, 18 Rob O'Donnell, 19 Semisi Taulava, 20 Richard de Carpentier, 21 Paul Hodgson, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Andy Symons.

London Wasps: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 James Short, 13 Andrea Masi, 12 Chris Bell, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Sam Jones, 7 James Haskell, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Tom Lindsay, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Ricky Reeves, 18 Simon McIntyre, 19 Tom Palmer, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Joe Carlisle, 23 Charlie Hayter.

Referee: Andrew Small (RFU)
Assistant referees: Ashley Rowden, Paul Dix (both RFU)
TMO: David Grashoff (RFU)

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