Harlequins 16-14 Worcester
Harlequins (10) 16
- Evans 3
Worcester (8) 14
- Gray 3
Premiership leaders Harlequins held off a spirited challenge by Worcester in an attritional but entertaining clash.
The visitors raced to an early 10-0 lead after a penalty by Danny Gray and Miles Benjamin try.
Quins hit back with a Nick Evans penalty and penalty try, following a pulverising maul, before the break.
Evans and Gray exchanged points from the tee in the second half as the Warriors held on for a deserved losing bonus point.
After Gray kicked Warriors ahead, Benjamin stunned Quins when he reached for the line following a great break out from the Worcester 22.
Mike Brown was centimetres short of grounding Tom Casson's kick through as Quins pressed to get on the scoreboard.
Evans got them off the mark on 20 minutes when Ed Shervington was harshly judged to be offside at a maul.
There was a long delay while Marcel Garvey was carried off the field on a stretcher following a collision with Nick Easter.
The number eight then marshalled a phenomenal 22-metre maul that referee David Rose ended with a penalty try and promptly sent Shervington to the bin 10 minutes from the break.
Easter handed Warriors the chance to take the lead again when he failed to roll away from his tackle but Gray made a hash of an easy shot at goal.
Quins continued to attack after the break but struggled to break down Worcester's well-marshalled defence.
Gray twice pulled Worcester to within two points of their opponents after Evans had kicked his side into an early second-half lead.
The New Zealander then missed two straightforward shots at goal in the closing minutes as Worcester offered a consistent threat out wide.
Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea:
"We gave Worcester an eight-point start in a game and we weren't as precise as we should have been at times.
"You would be pretty arrogant to think that you are owed anything before a game - you have to earn everything in this league.
"We know that - we weren't good, but we won. The massive plus was that, yet again, our pack - both at scrum and maul - were outstanding.
"Worcester are one of the best defensive sides in the league, but they played a lot of rugby in the first half and caused us trouble.
"We are more than happy to have won both games against Worcester this season, but we weren't happy with our performance."
Worcester head coach Richard Hill:
"I'm not interested in Newcastle. You can see from the way we are playing at the moment that we are interested in moving up the table.
"The teams below us don't concern us in the slightest.
"If you look at the way we have performed and the points we have picked up in our last four games, that's not a team that is going to be worried about relegation - provided we concentrate fully every single game and prepare for every match as though it's an international.
"I have no issues whatsoever with the effort these boys put in and we're looking forward to hosting Saracens on Friday already.
"I thought we did a little bit more than just scrap for a point - I think we surprised Harlequins a little bit with our counter-attacking and we made some superb breaks in the first 20 minutes."
Harlequins: Brown; Williams, Lowe, Casson, Monye; Evans, Care; Marler, Brooker, Johnston; Kohn, Robson; Wallace, Skinner, Easter.
Replacements: Chisholm for Casson (75), Dickson for Care (55).
Worcester: Pennell, Garvey, Grove, Rasmussen, Benjamin, Gray, Perry, Mullan, Shervington, Taumoepeau, Percival, Gillies, Betty, Abbott, Cowan.
Replacements: Classens for Garvey (25), Fatiaki for Grove (72), Arr for Perry (58), Porter for Mullan (69), Lutui for Shervington (56), Tomaszczyk for Taumoepeau (69), Gulliver for Gillies (72), Kvesic for Abbott (58).
Sin Bin: Shervington (29).
Ref: David Rose (RFU).