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

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Scarlets vs LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Preview
Bath vs ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Preview
Montpellier vs GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Preview
Northampton vs OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs ConnachtExeter vs Connacht Preview
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs LionsWestern Province vs Lions Preview
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615