Feb 11, 2017
Saracens slip to defeat at Sixways
Saracens slipped to only their third defeat of the season as they were beaten by Worcester Warriors 24-18 at Sixways picking up a losing bonus-point.
Warriors fly-half Ryan Mills kicked all his side’s points in an accomplished place kicking performance as Sarries ill-discipline in their own half proved to be their downfall.
Saracens struggled to gain any foothold in the game throughout a scrappy first half. The Warriors kicked four penalties as Sarries toiled to below par opening forty minutes that saw wing Mike Ellery yellow carded for a mistimed challenge on the influential Worcester scrumhalf, Francois Hougaard.
The first-half action won’t be making any highlight reels in a hurry, as Worcester battled into a nine-point lead with Saracens struggling to make any impact in the contest both in possession and territorially. Yet it was Mark McCall’s side who crossed for the games first try when Chris Ashton raced onto a clever Wigglesworth grubber kick after 36 minute’s play. Down to 14-men with Ellery in the bin, Sarries marched Worcester deep into their own 22 with a powerful rolling maul Wigglesworth scooted from the ruck and sent a rolling kick expertly into the path of Ashton who showed a real finishers intuition to beat Warriors full-back Josh Adams to ground the ball. Lozowski converted.
From the kick-off, Saracens gifted the Warriors possession and compounded their frustration they conceded a penalty that Mills stepped up to slot over as the Warriors headed into the break with a deserved 12-7 lead.
Despite the refuge of the warmth of the Sixways changing rooms there would be no reprieve for Saracens after the break as they continued to be pegged back by the metronomic kicking of Worcester fly-half Ryan Mills.
After Mills and Lozowski exchanged penalties early in the second half, Saracens continued to fall foul of referee Tom Foley for repeat offences as the home-side controlled the scoreboard expertly to extinguish any hope of a Saracens comeback. Ryan Mills sent over four second half penalties to see Worcester home despite a later Schalk Brits pushover try threatened a grandstand finish. Sarries sent over a last minute penalty from Ben Spencer to secure the losing bonus point but it was the Warriors ran out deserved winners on the day.
Warriors: 15 Josh Adams; 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Jackson Willison; 11 Perry Humphreys; 10 Ryan Mills, 9 Francois Hougaard; 1 Ryan Bower, 2 Jack Singleton, 3 Nick Schonert; 4 Donncha O'Callaghan (C), 5 Will Spencer; 6 Chris Vui; 7 Sam Lewis, 8 Alafoti Faosiliva
Replacements: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 James Johnston, 18 Biyi Alo, 19 Tevita Cavubati, 20 Marco Mama, 21 Luke Baldwin, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Ben Howard.
Penalties: Ryan Mills (8/9)
Saracens: 15 Matt Gallagher (Malins 66’); 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Nick Tompkins (Bosch 55’), 12 Brad Barritt (c), 11 Mike Ellery; 10 Alex Lozowski, 9 Richard Wigglesworth(Spencer 55’); 1 Richard Barrington (Lamositele 46’), 2 Schalk Brits, 3 Petrus Du Plessis (Figallo 41’); 4 Michael Rhodes, 5 Jim Hamilton, 6 Will Fraser (55’), 7 Schalk Burger, 8 Jackson Wray
Replacements: 16 Jared Saunders, 17 Titi Lamositele, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Mark Flanagan, 20 Kelly Brown, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Max Malins, 23 Marcelo Bosch.
Tries: Chris Ashton (36’), Schalk Brits (72’)
Conversions; Alex Lozowski (121)
Penalties: Alex Lozowski (1/2), Ben Spencer (1/2)
Yellow Card: Mike Ellery (28’)