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Aviva A League Round-Up: Round 7

Coach Sam Vesty pinpointed Josh Drauniniu as the difference-maker after watching his Worcester Cavaliers side record an eight-try victory over Newcastle Falcons.

Drauniniu scored two tries and created a number of others as the Warriors’ second-string triumphed Newcastle 59-11 to move top of the Aviva A League Northern Conference and book their place in the semi-finals.

Andrew Boyce was first to touch down, before Ravai Fatiaki’s powerful run extended Worcester’s lead after Lee Smith had kept the Falcons in touch with a chip-and-chase score down the left touchline.

But Dan Sanderson, Drauniniu (2), Charlie Mulchrone and Perry Humphreys (2) all got themselves on the scoresheet at Sixways as the Cavaliers moved through the gears in the second period.

Worcester now require just one point to secure a home semi-final and Vesty hailed the impact of his flying Fijian Drauniniu in seeing off the previously unbeaten Falcons.

“There was a lot riding on this game and that's the pleasing thing – how the boys responded,” said Vesty.

“We really turned the screw after the first 15 minutes and played some good rugby and we kept getting on the front foot and scoring tries.

“Josh was fantastic tonight and he took his chances well. His ability to beat someone with the ball is incredible and he did a lot of good, as did a number of others.

“The spirit our boys have got is immense and if we can keep that going, then that's important for us to take forward into the knockout stages.”

Elsewhere Saracens Storm continued their fine A League form, running in six tries for another convincing bonus-point win over Wasps at Allianz Park.

England U20 skipper Maro Itoje continued his fine form in the competition, scoring powerful tries either side of half-time with a catch and drive followed by a driving maul.

Winger Mike Ellery also scored twice in the corner, before George Perkins and replacement half-back Tom Whiteley also dived over to complete the rout.

Saracens remain unbeaten in the competition this season and top the Southern Conference with five wins so far.

Leicester Tigers also enjoyed a comfortable victory, beating Bristol United 41-3 in their last A League home fixture of the year.

Full-back Tommy Bell ran in a first-half double, before Tigers ran riot in the second-half with Tiziano Pasquali and skipper Harry Thacker wrapping up the bonus point.

Rhys Williams then capitalised on Jack Roberts’ 60m break and hooker Neil Briggs scooped up an overthrow for the final try on his return from injury.

A strong second-half showing from Northampton Wanderers saw them surge clear of a battling Sale Jets side and win 41-7, thanks to three tries in 11 minutes from Joel Hodgson, Harry Mallinder and skipper Ben Nutley.

Meanwhile London Welsh’s hopes of recording three A League victories on the bounce were dashed as Bath United ran in seven tries for a 52-14 win.

And the game between London Irish and Harlequins at Hazelwood had to be abandoned at half-time due to a power cut, with Quins leading 12-7.

The visitors were in control of the match up to that point, with Harry Sloan going over before a penalty try was awarded after an impressive drive from the scrum was collapsed before the line.
 
Leicester Tigers 41 Bristol United 3
Northampton Wanderers 41 Sale Jets 7
Worcester Cavaliers 59 Newcastle Falcons 11
London Irish 7 (A) Harlequins 12 (A)
London Welsh 14 Bath United 52
Saracens Storm 43 Wasps 17

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