Worcester’s wastefulness costs them yet again
Worcester’s problems at the foot of the Premiership increased with a third consecutive narrow defeat.
They made life difficult for themselves here by conceding two early tries through sloppy defending, then squandering attacking positions through a malfunctioning line out.
“We have nobody but ourselves to blame for losing that game. Our game management at key moments wasn’t good enough. Our line-out struggled, we weren’t accurate enough in our execution and paid a price,” said Worcester director of rugby Alan Solomons.
Even with Newcastle down to 13 men with George McGuigan and Johnny Williams in the sin-bin, Worcester could not capitalise.
They were awarded a penalty try when Williams was penalised for a deliberate knock-on, going to intercept Ryan Mills’ pass to Chris Pennell, but it was Newcastle fly-half Toby Flood who scored the only further points when they were numerically disadvantaged by kicking an early second-half penalty.
Worcester levelled twice when Duncan Weir gathered Mills’s grubber and Pennell banged over a long-range penalty, but Flood’s 74th-minute penalty gave Newcastle only their second win at Sixways since 2004.
Newcastle gave Worcester a hard lesson in finishing. Loosehead Sami Mavinga showed a surprising turn of speed and even more impressive ballhandling skills to break free and set up the supporting Sonatane Takulua for the opening try and Sinoti Sinoti then sliced through from nowhere on a powerful arcing run to the line.
“At half-time we challenged the boys to go straight back out and score. Within two or three minutes, we took three points. That set the tone and said we weren’t going to be bullied when we were down to 13 men,” said Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards.