Premiership: Worcester Warriors 12-6 London Irish
|Worcester (6) 12|
|Pens: Heathcote 4|
|London Irish (0) 6|
|Pens: Tonks 2|
|Relive Saturday's Premiership action|
Worcester Warriors all but ended their Premiership relegation fears with an uninspiring victory over error-strewn bottom-of-the-table side London Irish.
Two Tom Heathcote penalties gave Warriors an interval lead as the Exiles wasted several promising situations.
The pattern continued after the break with Blair Cowan and Ciaran Hearn dropping the ball when set to cross.
Heathcote added two kicks but Irish, who lost Topsy Ojo to injury, earned a losing bonus point through Greig Tonks.
Tonks slotted two penalties - including one in the 78th minute - to at least give the visitors something from a game in which they squandered numerous excellent attacking situations.
Former England winger Ojo's shoulder injury completed a miserable day for the Exiles, who remain four points behind Newcastle.
Irish, who only have four games remaining, have also played a game more than the Falcons.
Worcester's win earned them a fourth consecutive Premiership win for the first time to take them 16 points clear of the foot of the table.
Warriors director of rugby Dean Ryan told BBC Hereford & Worcester:
"We've had seven guys in isolation through illness. They couldn't come in to work so it was difficult to prepare and there were some weary legs at the end.
"It was an outstanding defensive display in horrendous conditions and up against a very good side, who were desperate opponents.
"In the last five or six weeks, Irish have been on an upward trajectory and we knew they would be hard to beat.
"It was always going to be an attritional contest as they are well-organised but we had them worked out defensively and put a lot of pressure on them to do something miraculous."
London Irish head coach Tom Coventry told BBC Radio Berkshire:
"We were here to win. We got close, a couple of bombed opportunities were the difference.
"Maybe a possibility of kicking for a corner or kicking for a goal, there could be some conjecture that we should've taken the points at stages. But, they're all in hindsight.
"But, that was a real dogfight and we just couldn't get it over the line. Those two passes that we ended up fumbling were very costly.
"Maybe it's a sign of the confidence that we're lacking at the moment as a team, who haven't had a lot of victories.
"There's still 20 points up for grabs. We won't be too deflated, we got a point out of today, but it's pretty tough times at the moment."
Worcester Warriors: Pennell; Heem, Olivier, Mills, Vuna; Heathcote, Hougaard; Rapava Ruskin, Annett, Schonert, O'Callaghan, Barry, Dowson, Kirwan, Van Velze.
Replacements: Bregvadze, Leleimalefaga, Johnston, Sanderson, Cox, Baldwin, Hammond, Grove.
London Irish: Maitland; Fenby, Hearn, Williams, Ojo; Tonks, Steele; Court, Cruse, Aulika, Stooke, Symons, Narraway (capt), Cowan, McCusker.
Replacements: Paice, Smallbone, Halavatau, Sexton, Treviranus, McKibbin, Brophy Clews, F Mulchrone.