Dec 27, 2013
Worcester v Saracens - Preview
Top faces bottom in tomorrow's Aviva Premiership round 11 game, as Saracens travel to the Sixways Stadium to take on former Saracens No.8 Dean Ryan's Worcester Warriors. Here, Henry Fraser previews Saracens opponents.
Worcester - Form guide, lost 10.
It has been a tough season so far for Worcester. Without a single win yet in the premiership they sit bottom of the league, nine points adrift off their nearest rivals. After showing some potential away to Leicester in the opening game of the season things seemed to slowed a bit.
When Worcester keep the ball and build phases they can prove to be a dangerous team. They have a few powerful runners that cause defenders a lot of problems. They have a great mix of experienced players and youngsters, that together can be dangerous.
Even though they have lost every game, they have pushed teams close and earned three losing bonus points in doing so. Last round they pushed Gloucester close at Kingsholm, which is no mean feat.
They might not be setting the league alight with tries, with only nine, but have scored more than half at home. They do not start too strong but grow into games, seen by when they score most of their tries. Seven have been scored in the second half with six coming in the final quarter of the match. Getting an early lead will be key for Sarries as Worcester will definitely come back into the game at the end.
Their defence may have been loose at times but they have conceded fifty percent less tries at home. At Sixways Sarries will have to continue their great attacking form. Worcester do concede a lot of tries straight after half time, a time for Sarries to assert themselves and really attack.
At times it has been Worcester ill-discipline that has let them down. They sit near the top of the league in yellow cards conceded with seven in the first ten games, five in the second half. Patience and building pressure is vital for Sarries.
Even though both teams are going into this game on very differing runs of form, with one flying high at the top of the table and the other looking for their first win, things could be closer than they appear. Worcester, recently, have had a good home record against Sarries.
14/4/13 Saracens 47 - 17 Worcester Warriors (Aviva Premiership)
2/2/13 Worcester Warriors 12 - 22 Saracens (LV=Cup)
23/11/12 Worcester Warriors 12 - 3 Saracens (Aviva Premiership)
Players to watch
Chris Pennell - It's not all doom and gloom for Worcester this season. Pennell has been a shining light at the back. His willingness and ability to attack has been outstanding. Whenever it looked like Worcester were pinned back, Pennell would get the back on the front foot with a long break. He's shown great awareness, speed, power and skill with some dazzling offloads.