Planet Rugby

Worcester's international class tells

21st November 2008 22:19

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Worcester v Newcastle biffo

Frayed tempers: Newcastle's frustrations boil over

Former internationals Sam Tuitupou and Chris Latham scored the tries that made the difference in Worcester's 26-11 win over Newcastle in the Guinness Premiership at Sixways on Friday.

The game only came to life in the last 10 minutes for as, until then, it had been an error-ridden affair, full of penalty awards.

Worcester were fortunate to be ahead at the interval but they were much the better team in the second half.

Chris Latham was the outstanding player, combining some lengthy touch-finding with some creative running.

Newcastle had no such talisman and seem destined to be competing with Bristol for the relegation spot this season.

Ultimately they were well beaten but had Rory Clegg been more on target with his goalkicking they would have remained in contention for far longer.

Worcester had lost their two previous Premiership matches at Sixways and were looking for a win against a side two places below them in the table but it was Newcastle who had the first chance.

However, Clegg missed a 35-metre penalty attempt after Chris Latham had failed to collect an excellent up and under.

Latham soon made amends for his error, taking a pass from Matthew Jones at a beautiful angle to run deep into the Newcastle 22.

The visitors offended and Jones kicked a simple goal to give Worcester the lead after eight minutes.

Chris Pennell doubled Worcester's score with a beautifully-struck penalty from halfway before Steve Jones, the Newcastle full-back, brilliantly collected a high ball and stormed away into home territory from which his side built a period of pressure.

The Worcester defence conceded another penalty and this time, from a similar distance, Clegg was successful to make it 6-3.

Worcester then lost Matthew Jones to injury, replaced by Loki Crichton, with Newcastle, in turn, also seeing Steve Jones leave the field with a leg problem.

Crichton soon made his mark four minutes before half-time with an easy penalty but Worcester began the second half in style, scoring the first try within two minutes of the restart.

Alex Lutui was heavily involved in a couple of drives before the ball was spun wide for Latham to force his way over in the corner.

Crichton converted with an excellent kick. Clegg missed a penalty but then struck one from halfway to keep Newcastle in touch but going into the final quarter Crichton kicked a penalty to give Worcester a healthy 19-6 lead.

With 14 minutes to go Worcester were penalised for collapsing a scrum but Clegg missed badly from only 25 metres and with that miss went Newcastle's final hopes.

Worcester lost Latham with a minor leg injury but as he was receiving attention Crichton cleverly chipped over the top for Sam Tuitupou to collect and score under the posts.

Crichton converted but with the last movement of the match Danny Williams battled over for a deserved consolation score for the visitors.

The scorers:

For Worcester:

Tries: Latham, Tuitupou

Cons: Crichton 2

Pens: Jones, Pennell, Crichton 2

For Newcastle:

Try: Williams

Pens: Clegg 2

Worcester: 15 Chris Latham, 14 Chris Pennell, 13 Dale Rasmussen, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Matthew Jones, 9 Matt Powell, 8 Kai Horstmann, 7 Pat Sanderson (c), 6 Netani Talei, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 Greg Rawlinson, 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 2 Chris Fortey, 1 Matt Mullan.

Replacements: 16 Chris Horsman, 17 Aleki Lutui, 18 Will Bowley, 19 Matt Cox, 20 Ben Jones, 21 Loki Crichton, 22 Rico Gear.

Newcastle: 15 Steve Jones, 14 Danny Williams, 13 Tom May, 12 Tane Tu'ipulotu, 11 John Rudd, 10 Rory Clegg, 9 Hall Charlton, 8 Phil Dowson (c), 7 Brent Wilson, 6 Tim Swinson, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Geoff Parling, 3 David Wilson, 2 Matt Thompson, 1 Jon Golding.

Replacements: 16 Rob Vickers, 17 Micky Ward, 18 Andy Perry, 19 Peter Browne, 20 James Grindal, 21 Tom Dillon, 22 Tim Visser.

Referee: Martin Fox

Touch judges: Brian Robertson, Kevin Stewart

Assessor: Brian Campsall

Television match official: Clive Leeke

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