Premiership: Worcester Warriors 20-29 Leicester Tigers

Graham Kitchener
Former Worcester player Graham Kitchener crosses for Leicester's first try of the afternoon.
Worcester (17) 20
Tries: Olivier, Cox Cons: Heathcote 2 Pens: Heathcote 2
Leicester (7) 29
Tries: Kitchener, Veainu, Penalty, McCaffrey Cons: Williams 3 Pen: Williams
Relive Saturday's Premiership action

Leicester overcame 14-man Worcester in an extraordinary encounter at Sixways.

Warriors took a 17-0 lead through a Tom Heathcote penalty and converted tries from Wynand Olivier and Matt Cox.

But Graham Kitchener replied for Tigers with Donncha O'Callaghan in the sin-bin, before the Worcester lock was red carded minutes into the second half.

Home duo Gareth Milasinovich and Matt Cox were also sin-binned as Tigers capitalised through Telusa Veainu, a penalty try and Lachlan McCaffrey.

Worcester, previously unbeaten at home this season, looked dangerous from the off and opened up a 17-0 lead within 22 minutes.

Heathcote kicked an early penalty and then added two conversions as Olivier collected the fly-half's pass following a Worcester scrum to score under the posts before Cox dived between the sticks.

But Leicester put Warriors on the back foot and with O'Callaghan sent to the sin-bin for an offside offence, former Worcester forward Kitchener barged through just minutes before the break.

Leicester Tigers
Leicester celebrate scoring a late try to earn them a bonus-point victory

Worcester, who played the first half with the wind, were down to 14 men soon after the restart when O'Callaghan received a second yellow for bringing down the Leicester maul.

Milasinovich came on to make his Premiership debut but was binned shortly after and Tigers made their men advantage count as Veainu dived over in the corner.

Heathcote and Owen Williams then exchanged penalties before referee Wayne Barnes awarded Leicester a penalty try, with the conversion putting them in front for the first time.

Worcester ended the match with 13 men as Cox was also sin-binned, allowing Leicester to sneak a crucial fourth try though McCaffrey.

And Williams' conversion ensured Worcester also missed out on a losing bonus point as Leicester moved up to second in the Premiership table.

Worcester director of rugby Dean Ryan:

"Donncha O'Callaghan is distraught. He has a red card and I am not sure it needed to be one. I am not sure why Wayne Barnes needed to go to that. He (O'Callaghan) has been great for us since he came here.

"We were under enormous pressure. They were on top in the scrum and in the drive. We played really well and were under massive pressure near the end with 13 men. We played some decent stuff.

"We are frustrated that we didn't win. We are capable of winning that game and we have to start talking that language.

"We just made some silly mistakes near the end which was under huge pressure."

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill:

"The game is 80 minutes and we did some good things and exerted some good pressure. The penalty count was pretty heavy.

"That wind was strong and we made some basic errors in the first half to let them in. We were good for our win although it was tough for Worcester to get nothing because they played pretty well.

"We created some opportunities but we were pretty inaccurate at times as well. If Worcester play like that, they will have no problems staying in this competition, I have no doubt of that.

"As for the yellow cards, Barnes is a world-class ref and refereed it to the letter of the law. They were under a lot of pressure."

Worcester Warriors: Pennell; Heem, Olivier, Mills, Vuna; Heathcote, Arr; Leleimalefaga, Annett, Rees, O'Callaghan, Barry, Cox, Betty, Dowson (capt).

Replacements: Bregvadze, Ruskin, Milasinovich, Cavubati, Mama, Mulchrone, Lamb, Howard.

Sin-bin: O'Callaghan, Milasinovich, Cox

Red card: O'Callaghan

Leicester Tigers: Veainu; Thompstone, Betham, Bai, Goneva; Williams, Harrison; Aguero, Bateman, Cole, Slater (capt), Kitchener, Williams, Croft, Crane.

Replacements: Youngs, McCaffrey, Ayerza, Balmain, Barrow, Kitto, Bell, Smith.

Ref: Wayne Barnes

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