Premiership: Worcester Warriors 24-18 Saracens

Ryan Mills
Ryan Mills kicked eight successful penalties for 11th-placed Worcester
Aviva Premiership
Worcester (12) 24
Pens: Mills 8
Saracens (7) 18
Tries: Ashton, Brits Cons: Lozowski Pens: Lozowski, Spencer

Worcester stunned Premiership champions Saracens with a deserved win at Sixways in which home stand-off Ryan Mills kicked all 24 of the hosts' points.

Warriors led 12-7 at the break from Mills' boot, despite England wing Chris Ashton scored Saracens' first try.

After the break Mills and Alex Lozowski then traded penalties before Worcester's fly-half added three more.

Schalk Brits' late, unconverted try made it 24-15 but all Sarries could add was a late penalty for a bonus point.

That kept them within reach of leaders Wasps in second, while, in his first Premiership game in charge as director of rugby, Gary Gold's Worcester climb five points clear of bottom club Bristol, beaten heavily at home by Harlequins on Friday night.

After a positive start, Mills missed his opening attempt at goal but he soon found his range to take advantage of weakened Saracens' uncharacteristic ill-discipline as Warriors dominated possession and field position.

The fly-half pushed his side into a 9-0 lead, the third of his penalties also earning Saracens' Mike Ellery a yellow card for a late challenge on Francois Hougaard.

But, on 35 minutes, while still a man short, Ashton pounced on a kick through from England squad member Lozowski, who added the conversion.

At 12-7 in the hosts' favour, history indicated that Saracens would mount a strong second-half comeback but, with fit-again scrum-half Hougaard making his first Premiership appearance of the season, it was Worcester who took charge.

Mills made sure that Saracens' continued infringements proved to be costly until, with seven minutes to go, Saracens' pack drove over. But the conversion, which would have brought back the visitors to within a score was missed, and all Ben Spencer's last-minute penalty earned his team was a losing bonus point.

Mills' 24-point haul was a Worcester club record. The last time any player scored as many points, while contributing 100 per cent of their team's tally, was November 2014 when Exeter's Gareth Steenson landed nine kicks, equalling the Premiership record, for a 27-point haul, also in a home win against Saracens.

Worcester director of rugby Gary Gold told BBC Hereford & Worcester:

"I'm proud of the guys as they had to take in a lot of information in a short space of time. As long as we showed fight, the result wasn't as important.

"We didn't want to do anything flash and there wasn't anything scientific in our tactics but we needed to shore up our defence.

"It'll prove to the boys that they can do it but the issue is whether we are able to repeat it and it's not a one-off, as we have to play many of the good teams in the Premiership in our remaining fixtures."

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall:

"It was very disappointing but all credit to Worcester, who pressurised and harassed us throughout.

"Our set-piece was very poor, particularly in the first half, as we couldn't gain a platform.

"We chased the game too early, our discipline was bad and they kicked very well to keep us on the back foot."

Worcester: Adams; Heem, Olivier, Willison, Humphreys; Mills, Hougaard; Bower, Singleton, Schonert, O'Callaghan (capt), Spencer, Vui, Lewis, Faosiliva.

Replacements: Bregvadze (for Singleton, 57), Alo (for Schionert, 62), Mama (for Lewis, 65), Cavubati (for O'Callaghan, 74).

Not used: Johnston, Baldwin, Lamb. Howard.

Saracens: Gallagher; Ashton, Tompkins, Barritt (capt), Ellery; Lozowski, Wigglesworth; Barrington, Brits, Du Plessis, Rhodes, Hamilton, Fraser, Burger, Wray.

Replacements: Saunders, Lamositele, Figallo, Flanagan, Brown, Spencer, Malins, Bosch.

Sin Bin: Ellery (27).

Referee: Tom Foley.

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