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SAINTS 24 WORCESTER 14 Gardens run goes on

Posted on February 28 2017

The Saints moved back in the Aviva Premiership's top six with a fifth straight win at the Gardens, Mikey Haywood grabbing two of their three tries against Worcester.

The Warriors made the brighter start and opened the scoring, but with Haywood scoring in either half to sandwich Teimana Harrison's powerful effort, the spoils were theirs and with it, a spot back in the Champions Cup qualification places.

Having won a scrum against the head and been repelled from a driving lineout, Worcester harnessed their early momentum to score first through Josh Adams, a sweeping break from Wynand Olivier freeing the full back.

While the Gardens was shocked into silence, on the pitch the Saints went about working their way into the game, Ace Tuala to the fore with a smart kick, fleet-footed break and outrageous backhand flick as the hosts started to click into gear.

When a penalty went to the corner, Worcester finally cracked. A quick flick off the top fed Harrison at pace and there was no stopping the rampaging flanker from five metres out, Stephen Myler clipping over the supplementaries to level the scores.

While neither side seemed able to find their flowing best, Saints continued to have the better of things and Myler edged his side in front when Jamie Gibson was dragged down by the neck.

Worcester were now pegged in and when having failed to clear from a lineout five metres from their own line, Saints pounced. The lively Ken Pisi jinked close and while Alex Waller spilled his offload going for the line, hooker Haywood was on hand to scoop up and score, Myler again converting following TMO confirmation.

With 40 good minutes under their belts again, the challenge was now to build on an advantage they had worked so hard to build.

Having fended off a strong start to the half from the Warriors and a pair of Ryan Mills penalty misses, Saints took over possession, though a scrappy second half refused to surrender any clear cut chances

Just as the game looked to be drifting towards an underwhelming finish though, one last burst from TP Man of the Match Tuala took Saints over halfway.

After a penalty to the corner the forwards picked up the mantle, a second five-metre lineout carrying Haywood over for his second of the afternoon six minutes from time.

The score left Saints with five minutes to make it a maximum, but with Worcester clinging onto possession and eventually scoring in added time through Bryce Heem, a bonus point evaded both sides.

TIMELINE
6mins WORCS Try Adams Con Mills 0-7
20mins SAINTS Try Harrison Con Myler 7-7
30mins SAINTS Pen Myler 10-7
40mins SAINTS Try Haywood Con Myler 17-7
HALF-TIME SAINTS 17-7 WORCS
48mins WORCS Miss pen Mills
52mins WORCS Miss pen Mills74mins SAINTS Try Haywood Con Myler 24-7
80mins WORCS Try Heem Con Lamb 24-14
FULL-TIME SAINTS 24-14 WORCS

SAINTS
Tuala; K Pisi, Tuitavake, Mallinder, Foden (capt); Myler, Groom; A Waller, Haywood, Brookes, Paterson, Day, Gibson, Clark, Harrison

Clare, E Waller, Hill, Ratuniyarawa, Dickinson, Dickson, Wilson, Estelles

WORCESTER
Adams; Heem, Olivier, Willison, Humphreys; Mills, Hougaard; Bower, Annett, Schonert, O’Callaghan (capt), Spencer, Dowson, Lewis, Potgieter

Bregvadze, Leileimalefaga, Alo, Cavuabti, Mama, Baldwin, Lamb, Pennell

REFEREE
Craig Maxwell-Keys

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