Worcester hold on against Harlequins

Date published: January 1 2017

Worcester withstood a late onslaught from Harlequins to secure a 24-17 victory at Sixways in the Premiership on Sunday.

It was a bleak first 40 for Harlequins, who found a scoreless half send them 16-0 behind at the break at Sixways.

Dean Hammond went over for the only try of the half as Worcester dominated the first 40. Ben Te'o increased the lead with a second try after the break, and although Matthews and Alofa went over, Worcester held on for their first win since October.

A line-out five metres from the line caused havoc eight minutes in, with Hammond finding the space to cross in the corner for the first score. The conversion followed to put Warriors firmly on the front foot.

Continuing to dominate in the opening half hour, Worcester were able to turn their possession into more points before the break, with Quins struggling to get any momentum. Ryan Mills struck through two penalties to increase the advantage, before two yellows slowed down the play.

The first was issued to Worcester's Darren Barry for an infringement, followed by Quins also falling to 14. They lost Joe Marler in a desperate defensive moment as the hosts threatened a second try. He missed the first 10 of the second half – as Worcester made it an even worse afternoon for Quins.

Te'o got try number two just after the restart, showing supreme strength to batter his way through the Harlequins backline and over the try line. The half calmed down after full numbers were restored following the late yellow cards, before Quins finally woke up as the second half wore on.

A steady burst of attacks produced their first try, Matthews grounding after the visitors continued to knock at the Warriors door. The try was converted, and the rejuvenated Quins continued to show a new lease on life as they seriously threatened a comeback.

Mills halted that hope though with another penalty edging Worcester into a 24-7 advantage, but it was far from over. Alofa reduced the arrears with a second try with five left to play, before a Tim Swiel conversion and penalty ensured the visitors would take home a bonus point thanks to their late fightback.

The scorers:

For Worcester:
Tries: Hammond, Te'o
Con: Mills
Pens: Mills 4
Yellow Card: Barry

For Harlequins:
Tries: Matthews, Alofa
Cons: Swiel 2
Pen: Swiel
Yellow Card: Marler

Worcester: 15 Josh Adams, 14 Dean Hammond, 13 Ben Te'o, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 Ryan Mills, 9 Michael Dowsett, 8 Alafoti Faosiliva, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Dewald Potgieter (c), 5 Darren Barry, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Jack Singleton, 1 Val Rapava Ruskin
Replacements: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Na'ama Leleimalefaga, 18 Biyi Alo, 19 Tevita Cavubati, 20 Phil Dowson, 21 George de Cothi, 22 Connor Braid, 23 Wynand Olivier

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Alofa Alofa, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Danny Care (c), 8 Jack Clifford, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Charlie Matthews, 4 George Merrick, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Rob Buchanan, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Will Collier, 19 Stan South, 20 James Chisholm, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Charlie Walker

Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Ross Campbell, Peter Allan
TMO: David Rose