Premiership: Worcester Warriors 8-26 Saracens

Full-back Alex Goode scores the third of Saracens' four tries at Sixways

Worcester (8) 8


Saracens (26) 26

Strettle, Brits, Goode, Hodgson
Hodgson 3

Winless Worcester's dismal losing run was extended to 16 Premiership games as leaders Saracens eased to victory in the bottom v top clash at Sixways.

After trailing to an early Ignacio Mieres penalty, Sarries then ran in four tries in 20 first-half minutes.

David Strettle, Schalk Brits, Alex Goode and Charlie Hodgson, who landed three kicks, ensured a bonus-point win.

Number eight Leonardo Senatore replied for the home side with a 37th-minute try before a scoreless second half.

Despite all their hearteningly determined efforts against a Sarries side who remain top, Worcester are still nine points adrift at the bottom of the Premiership, having now gone the whole of 2013 with just one league win to their name.

Saracens had not won in the league at Sixways since a 21-16 victory in October 2007, but they did enough to put that record right within the first half hour.

Mieres' clearance kick from inside his own 22 could only find Saracens hands on halfway and, from the overlap that appeared, American centre Chris Wyles fed England Saxons wing Strettle to score in the corner.

South African hooker Brits then pounced for the second, set up by full-back Goode's sidestep after another poor clearance kick from scrum-half Jeremy Su'a.

Goode got his own try after Worcester-born centre Tim Streather had carved his way through the Warriors' weak defence.

And, after landing his second conversion, former England stand-off Hodgson secured his side's bonus point with a beautiful kick off the side of his foot that outsmarted the home midfield, allowing him an easy run-in under the posts for his own converted touchdown.

Sarries went down to 14 men when England prop Mako Vunipola was sin-binned for needlessly lashing out at home centre Alex Grove as both lay at the bottom of a ruck.

And Worcester cashed in on their man advantage when they scored just before break from the move of the match, finished off by Argentine international Senatore.

There was more second-half needle when England number eight Billy Vunipola and home flanker Richard De Carpentier were lucky not to be yellow-carded for fighting.

But, remarkably, there was no further scoring as Sarries, who had England centre Brad Barritt back in action following foot surgery, marched on to their 10th league win in 11 matches.


Warriors director of rugby Dean Ryan told BBC Hereford & Worcester:

"We paid the penalty for probably spending half an hour sightseeing. Then, after 20 or 30 minutes, we decided to get involved in the game and looked a very good team.

"It is real credit to us because they are a really good side with some good players. It showed against Leicester last week that, if they get a start, they can do a lot of damage and I was really pleased with our response.

"There is an element where you sit and watch and wait. And you just cannot do that with a team that has the pace and power they've got. But we showed in the second half that we can take things to them.

"We recognise we have some massive challenges in the New Year but we are in a very different place than where we were six or seven weeks ago."

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall:

"It is a very satisfying result for us. We have struggled at Sixways in the last four seasons and lost here, so to come and get a bonus-point win, we are really happy.

"The scoreline was unfortunate for Worcester as they fronted up but we were very clinical and took our chances, scored four wonderful tries and then fought for each other in the second half.

"You see it so often. You have the job done early, you have the bonus point in the bag, you have important games coming up and as much as you would like to sustain a performance for 80 minutes, sometimes it does not happen.

"But it was great to get 30 minutes out of Brad Barritt. He will be likely to start against Gloucester next week."


Worcester: Pennell (capt); Stephenson, Grove, Symons, Drauniniu; Mieres, Su'a; Fainga'anuku, Brooker, O'Donnell; Percival, Galarza; de Carpentier, Betty, Senatore.

Replacements: Fatiaki for Symons (41), Warwick for Mieres (49), Taulava for De Carpentier (55), Andress for O'Donnell (61), Hodgson for Brooker (65), Jones for Senatore (65), Becasseau for Fainga'anuku (72).

Not Used: Shervington.

Saracens: Goode; Wilson, Streather, Wyles, Strettle; Hodgson, Wigglesworth; M Vunipola, Brits, Stevens; Kruis, Hargreaves (capt); Wray, Brown, B Vunipola.

Replacements: Barritt for Strettle (50), Bosch for Hodgson (56), Botha for Kruis (57), Barrington for M Vunipola (62), George for Brits (62), Du Plessis for Stevens (64), Melck for B Vunipola (65), Spencer for Wigglesworth (66).

Sin Bin: M Vunipola (32).

Attendance: 8,125.

Referee: Greg Garner (RFU).

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