Premiership: Northampton Saints beat Worcester 16-10 as Mikey Haywood scores decisive try

Northampton hooker Mikey Haywood
Mikey Haywood has made the most Premiership appearances at hooker
Gallagher Premiership
Worcester (3) 10
Try: Lawrence Con: Lance Pen: Lance
Northampton (13) 16
Try: Haywood Con: Grayson Pen: Grayson 3

Mikey Haywood scored the decisive try as Northampton broke a four-game losing run by beating Worcester at Sixways.

After Haywood was driven over just before half-time, the boot of fly-half James Grayson then kept Saints clear.

Ollie Lawrence replied for Worcester with 15 minutes remaining but they were forced to settle for a losing bonus point for the fifth consecutive match.

The home side could easily have won but failed to finish off numerous promising attacks, especially in the first half.

The failure to take their chances was epitomised in the dying moments as Graham Kitchener, with the clock in the red, made a break into the 22 but failed to give an inside pass for what would have been the winning try.

Even then, there was still more agony for the hosts as they won a penalty, kicked to the corner but could not organise their driving maul and still remain winless in the league in 2020.

Their one clinical moment came when Jono Lance freed his arms in a tackle to offload to the recalled Chris Pennell who zipped into the 22. The ball was recycled left and Lawrence stepped inside to finish his seventh try of the season.

But their wastefulness ultimately proved crucial as Northampton held out for a much-needed win to remain in the Premiership's top four, while extending Worcester's losing run to six matches.

Their only try, in the 33rd minute, came from a Worcester error when the hosts conceded a penalty trying to exit their 22.

Northampton kicked to the corner, won another penalty and from the second driving maul, Haywood scored his 22nd Premiership try.

Warriors director of rugby Alan Solomons told BBC Hereford and Worcester:

"All the games have been close. It's frustrating, because we're that close but eventually we'll turn the corner.

"We created far more opportunities than they did. We just didn't close them out. They had basically one opportunity and scored.

"Even right at the end we could have won it but our line out didn't function."

Northampton director of rugby Chris Boyd told BBC Northampton:

"We put ourselves in a situation with only a six-point advantage with two minutes remaining but held out with 14 men.

"It was a gutsy performance. We showed plenty of character and it was based on a pretty good defensive effort.

"In the Six Nations you take those really good players out and the skill level drops a wee bit."

Worcester: Pennell; Humphreys, Lawrence, Mills, David; Lance, Hougaard; Waller, Moulds (capt), Schonert, A Kitchener, G Kitchener, Hill, Lewis, Du Preez

Replacements: Annett, Owen, Palframan, Van Velze, Dodd, Heaney, Shillcock, Van Breda

Sin-bin: Mills (8).

Northampton: Mallinder; Collins, Hutchinson, Symons, Naiyaravoro; Grayson, Reinach; Van Wyk, Haywood, Hill, Coles, Bean, Wood, Ludlam, Harrison (capt)

Replacements: Matavesi, B Franks, O Franks, Glynn, Tonks, Taylor, Dingwall, Strachan

Sin-bin: Collins (12), Matavesi (80).

Referee: Andrew Jackson