Premiership: Worcester Warriors 12-26 Wasps
|Worcester (12) 12|
|Pens: Shillcock 4|
|Wasps (19) 26|
|Tries: Macken, Robson Cons: Miller 2 Pens: Miller 4|
Weakened Wasps climbed back to within a point of Premiership leaders Saracens thanks to a determined win at relegation-threatened Worcester.
Brendan Macken's converted try after just 54 seconds set Wasps on their way.
The bulk of a competitive first half was a kicking contest between Rob Miller and Warriors' Jamie Shillcock, who each landed four penalties.
Stand-in fly-half Miller then also converted scrum-half Dan Robson's 45th minute try to give Wasps control.
Worcester remain six points clear of bottom club Bristol, who they now meet in their next Premiership fixture on Boxing Day at Ashton Gate.
Danny Cipriani's late withdrawal with a calf problem left the injury-hit visitors having to take the field deprived of 13 players, as well as their three England international absentees.
They made an electric start to the Midlands derby with Macken's interception try from the halfway line inside the first minute.
But, by half-time, that score was all that separated the two teams as teenager Shillcock matched Miller's kicking from the tee.
Robson's superb solo effort, when he spotted a gap and jinked his way under the posts, took Wasps two converted scores clear.
Warriors, playing for the first time since head coach Carl Hogg was handed sole charge earlier this week, spent a lot of time in the visitors' half after the break.
The closest they came to at least claiming a losing bonus was when loose forward Alafoti Faosiliva crossed the Wasps line, but referee Craig Maxwell-Keys and his team of officials spotted centre Wynand Olivier's forward pass.
Worcester head coach Carl Hogg told BBC Hereford & Worcedster:
"We showed a huge amount of energy and endeavour and for long periods we looked a good rugby side.
"We had plenty of possession, but we looked a little bit frantic at times because of a lack of set-piece security in the line-outs, where we were always under pressure.
"We lacked a bit of accuracy and precision - that clinical accuracy let us down.
"We put Wasps under pressure for long periods, but we didn't convert. With our line-out malfunctioning, it made it very difficult to get a stranglehold on the game."
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young:
"There were a lot of new faces and boys who had been waiting for opportunities. I am really proud of the effort.
"You don't win anything with 15 or 23 players. It is a whole squad effort. We have a massive injury list at the moment and that is where a squad comes to the fore.
"Rob Miller was outstanding. Danny went down in the last minute of the team run (on Saturday), and Rob had a very good game organising us.
"It was a fantastic win for us. For me, this has to be up there with one of the best wins we've had this year."
Worcester Warriors: Pennell; Heem, Olivier, Willison, Vuna; Shillcock, Arr; Rapava Ruskin, Bregvadze, Schonert, O'Callaghan, Barry, Potgieter (capt), Lewis, Faosiliva.
Replacements: Dowsett (for Arr, 46), Kitchener (for O'Callaghan, 58), Adams (for Pennell, 60), Leleimalefaga (for Rapava Ruskin, 60), Singleton (for Bregvadze, 68), Johnston (for Schonert, 68), Dowson (for Faosiliva, 73).
Not used: Braid.
Wasps: O'Conor; Halai, Macken, Leiua, Bassett; Miller, Robson; Mullan (capt), Taylor, Moore, Gaskell, Myall, Johnson, Young, Rieder.
Replacements: Swainston (for Moore, 48), Thompson (for Taylor, 54), Rowlands (for Myall, 67), Simpson (for Robson, 67), Harris (for Mullan, 73), Armitage (for Halai, 76), Willis (for Young, 76).
Not used: : Eastgate.
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys.