Worcester shock Sarries

24th Feb 2012, 22:57

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Victory for Warriors: Andy Goode celebrates at the final whistle

Victory for Warriors: Andy Goode celebrates at the final whistle

Worcester Warriors upset defending Aviva Premiership Saracens 16-11 at Sayxways Stadium on Friday.

Worcester Warriors upset defending Aviva Premiership Saracens 16-11 at Sayxways Stadium on Friday.

Worcester secured the win that will surely see them safe in the Premiership for another season on a memorable night at Sixways.

The Warriors jump above Bath in the table to ninth, leaving them 14 points clear of basement side Newcastle.

It was the reigning champions, though, who got off to a fast start with superb lines of running carving Worcester open at will. Hooker Schalk Brits was at his brilliant best in the loose, displaying handling skills more akin to a fly-half and it was only a matter of time before the home side's defence was breached.

Great hands from the Saracens backs saw Michael Tagicakibau celebrate his first try of the season. Alex Goode converted.

Saracens kept up the pressure and another raid, this time down the left flank, would have led to a try for Andy Saull had the flanker not been forced into touch by a last-ditch tackle.

Worcester got a foothold in the game with a penalty from Andy Goode, but better was to come for the Warriors when Alex Grove went over for a converted try against the run of play on the stroke of half-time.

Alex Goode added a three-pointer at the start of the second half to nudge Saracens back in front, but that was as good as it got for Mark McCall's men who failed to produce the same quality of performance in attack in the second period as they had done in the first.

Joel Tomkins, who enjoyed a quiet first start in the Premiership, was then found guilty of being offside to hand Worcester another three points from the boot of Goode.

Saracens produced a massive onslaught on the Warriors line in the closing stages, but two crucial turnovers - one from Goode - kept the visitors at bay.

The scorers:

For Worcester :
Try: Grove
Con: Goode
Pens: Goode 3

For Saracens:
Try: Tagicakibau
Pens: Goode 2

Worcester Warriors: 15 Errie Claassens, 14 Chris Pennell, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Dale Rasmussen, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Shaun Perry (c), 8 Blair Cowan, 7 Jake Abbott, 6 Sam Betty, 5 Chris Jones, 4 James Percival, 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 2 Aleki Lutui, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Ed Shervington, 17 George Porter, 18 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 19 Craig Gillies, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Danny Gray, 23 Ravai Fatiaki.

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Michael Tagicakibau, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Nils Mordt, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Ernst Joubert (c), 7 Andy Saull, 6 Will Fraser, 5 Hugh Vyvyan, 4 George Kruis, 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 John Smit.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Eoin Sheriff, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Peter Stringer, 22 Joe Maddock, 23 James Short.

<Venue: Sixways
Referee: JP Doyle