Premiership: Worcester Warriors 44-13 Harlequins

Donncha O'Callaghan
Donncha O'Callaghan celebrates Worcester's safety-sealing win against Harlequins in what was his final professional appearance
Aviva Premiership
Worcester Warriors (25) 44
Tries: Heem, Willison 2, Barry, Te'o, Hougaard, Shillcock Cons: Jones, Shillcock 2 Pen: Jones
Harlequins (13) 13
Try: Walker Con: Smith Pens: Smith 2

Worcester Warriors beat Harlequins to secure their Premiership safety by consigning London Irish to relegation.

Bryce Heem, Jackson Willison, Darren Barry and Ben Te'o touched down before the break to ensure their top-flight status with a try-scoring bonus point.

Charlie Walker grabbed Quins' only try in response in a heated first half which saw Danny Care sin-binned.

Tries for Francois Hougaard and Jamie Shillcock, as well as a further Willison score, completed the victory.

The win gave Worcester's decorated former Ireland international Donncha O'Callaghan a triumphant farewell in his final professional appearance.

Worcester confirmed a fourth successive season in the Premiership with a game to spare with an intense first-half display during which Heem and Willison went over either side of Walker's effort for Quins.

Home fans thought they had further reason to celebrate following a chaotic period of play, which saw an increasingly heated match paused as the television match official reviewed a series of incidents.

It started with Hougaard booting the ball upfield and Care intervening by shoving the South Africa scrum-half off the ball, while Josh Adams ran on to meet the kick for what appeared to be an opportunistic try.

On review, however, Adams' effort was ruled out and with further analysis Care was shown a yellow and Worcester eventually ended up with a lineout.

It only delayed Warriors from touching down for the third time, with Barry powering over from a driving maul before England centre Te'o got the safety-sealing score in the 35th minute.

While Marcus Smith contributed eight points to Quins' cause in the opening 40 minutes, the visitors rarely looked capable of scoring any further points and denying Warriors on a day of celebration.

Hougaard snuck through for Warriors' fifth try early in the second half before Shillcock and a second Willison score completed a comfortable victory for a Worcester side that can now finish as high as ninth in the table.

Warriors also completed their proud record of having not lost at home on a Saturday this season, having won seven and drawn one (against Connacht) in eight league and cup matches.

Donncha O'Callaghan told BBC Hereford and Worcester:

"It's been a rollercoaster year. We know we're a good team but we've underperformed at times. There's been plenty of different reasons for that, but I'm so proud of how we've performed.

"I wasn't thinking of it as my last game, I was just thinking that I need to play well because we've got to get a result. It's brilliant to see a full stadium and everyone getting behind the team.

"Rugby's a special game. You get out what you put into it, and I've given it my heart."

Harlequins director of rugby John Kingston:

"I have been asked by the board of Harlequins - and I have agreed - to continue to the end of the season try and keep some stability.

"I have always strived to give my best every day when I go to work. I've had 17 years at Harlequins and I'm saddened that the latter days are becoming difficult in regard to memories. But I'm not going to let that go away from the number of wonderful times I've had.

"I believe with all my heart, when everyone is fit, that Harlequins have it in them to go forward and to start really challenge for things. It would not surprise me that, if we get our players fit, you will see a very different animal.

"Things were not going too badly until six or eight weeks ago. They have unravelled on us, but we're not as bad as we've shown in the last few games."

Worcester: Pennell; Heem, Te'o, Willison, Adams; Jones, Hougaard; Bower, Singleton, Schonert, O'Callaghan (capt), Barry, Mama, Lewis, Van Velze.

Replacements: Taufete'e, Waller, Milasinovich, Bresler, Denton, Arr, Shillcock, Hammond.

Harlequins: Brown; Walker, Marchant, Roberts, Alofa; Smith, Care; Marler, Ward (capt), Sinckler, Merrick, Matthews, Robshaw, Wallace, Luamanu.

Replacements: Elia, Lambert, Collier, South, White, Lewis, Lang, Visser.

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys.

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