Planet Rugby

Worcester clinch Premiership lifeline

30th March 2014 15:49

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Crucial try: Josh Drauniniu

Worcester's hopes of survival received an enormous boost on Sunday after their first Premiership win of the season at Newcastle.

The Warriors are now nine points adrift at the bottom of the league with four matches remaining, after winning away in the Premiership for the first time since New Year's Day 2012.

In an unsurprisingly tense opening period, given the importance of the encounter, three Phil Godman penalties to Chris Pennell's two gave Newcastle a 9-6 lead at the break.

Godman and Ryan Lamb then traded three-pointers before the Warriors' stand-off levelled the scores midway through the second half.

The game needed a spark and it came with 10 minutes remaining when Josh Drauniniu crossed the whitewash to give Worcester the win.

Despite failing to win a league game going into this encounter, the Warriors have shown an improvement in their performances over the previous two months.

A match against their closest challengers therefore provided the perfect opportunity for Dean Ryan's men to get that elusive win, but it was Newcastle that opened the scoring through Godman.

Worcester soon found an element of territory and, following a Falcons' infringement at the breakdown, Pennell levelled matters from the tee.

The full-back then kicked his second long-range penalty to give the visitors a 6-3 lead after 13 minutes.

However, the hosts' equalised through the boot of their stand-off before the Midlands' outfit were penalised for taking down a maul and Godman took Dean Richards' side 9-6 ahead at the interval.

Lamb, taking over kicking duties from Pennell, and Godman traded three-pointers in the second half before the Warriors' fly-half made the score 12-12 with 25 minutes remaining.

The game continued to be tight with very little separating the teams, until Andy Symons broke through and off-loaded to Drauniniu to touch down.

Although Newcastle pressed, Worcester held on to take a memorable win.

The scorers:

For Newcastle:
Pens: Godman 4

For Worcester:
Try: Drauniniu
Pens: Pennell 2, Lamb 2

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Noah Cato, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi (c), 12 Danny Barnes, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Warren Fury, 8 Chris York 7 Andy Saull, 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Fraser McKenzie, 4 Scott MacLeod, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Rob Vickers.
Replacements:16 George McGuigan, 17 Gary Strain, 18 Scott Wilson, 19 Sean Tomes, 20 Richard Mayhew, 21 Mike Blair, 22 Joel Hodgson, 23 James Fitzpatrick

Worcester Warriors: 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 Rob O'Donnell, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Ofa Fainga'anuku.
Replacements: 16 Ed Shervington, 17 Paul Andrew, 18 Jerome Schuster, 19 Semisi Taulava, 20 Richard de Carpentier, 21 Paul Hodgson, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Andy Symon.

Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
Assistant Referees: Peter Huckle, Andrew Pearce
TMO: Rowan Kitt

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