Worcester Warriors set new club record with win over Rotherham

By Ged ScottBBC Sport at Sixways
Dean Ryan
Dean Ryan's Worcester Warriors were relegated from the Premiership last season
Worcester Warriors (28) 49
Tries: Stelling, Hammond, Howard, Biggs, van Velze, penalty try, Mills Cons: Symons 7
Rotherham (3) 10
Try: Preece Con: Barrett Pen: McKinney

Worcester Warriors set a club record, beating Rotherham to earn their 21st straight victory in all competitions.

The Championship leaders ran in four first-half tries from centre Max Stelling, full-back Ben Howard and wingers Dean Hammond and Tom Biggs.

Dean Ryan's in-form side crossed three more times after the break at Sixways through skipper GJ van Velze, man of the match Ryan Mills and a penalty try.

Centre Andy Symons converted all seven tries for an individual 14-point haul.

Play-off place assured for Warriors
Worcester are guaranteed a place in the end-of season play-offs with seven games of the regular campaign to go. Only the top four qualify and, following their 14th straight Championship triumph (their other seven wins came in the British & Irish Cup), they are now 36 points clear of fifth-placed Rotherham. They are six points clear of second-placed Bristol, who they are due to host at Sixways on the final day of the season on 25 April. Bristol host Moseley on Sunday.

Rotherham actually took the lead with a fourth-minute James McKinney penalty, only to be hit by four Warriors tries inside 30 minutes, which secured the home side's 12th winning bonus point of the campaign before the break.

After van Velze powered over, Worcester then won a penalty try before completing their latest comprehensive victory when stand-off Mills capped an outstanding individual display with their last try of the afternoon on the hour.

Rotherham had the final word when replacement Jack Preece scored from a driving maul, the try being converted by Tom Barrett.

British & Irish Cup semi-finalists Worcester are in Championship action on Saturday, 21 February (15:00 GMT) when they travel to sixth-placed Bedford.

Worcester: Howard; Hammond, Stelling, Symons, Biggs; Mills, Arr; Bower, Annett, Rees, Williams, Thomas, Senatore, Betty, van Velze (capt).

Replacements: Creevy, Rapava Ruskin, Schonert, O'Shea, Mulchrone, Mieres, Fatiaki.

Rotherham: Scanlon; Keating, Hayes, Cooke, Wilson; McKinney, White; Hislop, Cruse (capt), Tampin, Maddison, Robinson, Argyle, Rieder, Morris.

Replacements: Preece, Williams, Thiede, Holmes, Birch, Barrett, Davies.