Worcester Warriors earned their first win of the Aviva Premiership Rugby season this weekend and second row Darren Barry hailed the squad’s spirit following the 11-9 win over Newcastle Falcons.
Wynand Olivier scored the game’s only try when he capitalised on a mistake from Sinoti Sinoti in a tight and physical affair between two teams who have so far struggled for consistency.
The Warriors have drawn twice already this season, against Sale Sharks and Gloucester Rugby, but finally found a way over the line, much to the relief of Barry.
“We spoke about how important this was in the week. I would not say it was a relief but it is nice to get a win, although I think we deserved more from some of our other matches,” he said.
“That is a big thing about the squad this year, we always look after each other.
“The result might not always be perfect and the performance might not always be perfect but you have got 15 guys out on that pitch that will work hard for each other.”
Wasps’ flying start to the season continued with a five-try victory over Harlequins on Sunday afternoon and director of rugby Dai Young hailed his side’s clinical edge.
Guy Thompson, Dan Robson and Elliot Daly all crossed for tries in just 12 first-half minutes to lead 26-18 at the break and Christian Wade, Kyle Eastmond and Josh Bassett all crossed the whitewash in the second period.
“We were ruthless without a shadow of doubt – we had four visits to their 22 in the first half and scored four tries,” Young said.
“That’s something we’ve talked about constantly, and which has been a drum I’ve been banging since I’ve been here and it’s perhaps taken a while to sink in.
“I thought we showed some real attacking intent and scored some great tries, and the real exciting factor for me is that there is still a lot more to come from us.”
Saracens are three points behind Wasps at the top of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table after their 39-0 victory over newly-promoted Bristol Rugby.
And Saracens director of rugby highlighted Alex Lozowski, recently called up to the England squad, for his impressive performance and 14-point haul which included two tries.
“He was third choice at Wasps last season, but Owen (Farrell) has got an injury, and he has been chucked in at the deep end and done pretty well,” Young said.
“We saw a player with real growth and potential. What he needed was some time in the saddle and just playing games, and he is getting that now with Owen’s injury.
“I thought it was a really good professional performance by us. It wasn’t perfect, but I thought we dominated the game and dominated field position.”
Elsewhere around Aviva Premiership Rugby, George North’s powerful try and assist for Rory Hutchinson saw Northampton Saints fight back from 13 points down to beat Exeter Chiefs 20-19.
Harry Mallinder kicked ten vital points for the home side who inflicted the Chiefs third defeat of the season despite Olly Woodburn’s try.
In the South-West derby, Bath Rugby came out on top to maintain their place in the top four with a 15-6 win over near-neighbours Gloucester Rugby.
Anthony Watson and Matt Banahan both scored tries to give Bath the local bragging rights and leave Gloucester with just the sole victory this season.
Finally, Leicester Tigers and Sale Sharks shared seven tries but it was the Sharks who came out on top at the AJ Bell Stadium with a 34-30 win.
Mike Phillips, Johnny Leota and Paolo Odogwu all crossed the whitewash in the first half while centre Peter Betham replied for the Tigers with a pair of scores himself.
Halani Aulika got the try bonus point for the home side in the second half with Adam Thompstone earning a losing bonus point for the Tigers late on.
Will Addison kicked 14 points for the Sharks while opposing fly-half Owen Williams knocked over three penalties and three conversions for the Tigers who stay fourth.
Tries: Johnson, Thompson, Robson, Daly, Wade, Eastmond, Bassett
Conversions: Gopperth 6
Tries: Roberts, Chisholm
Penalties: Swiel 2
Referee: Greg Garner
Penalties: Heathcote, Lamb
Penalties: Delany (2), Hodgson
Referee: Tom Foley
Tries: North, Hutchinson
Conversions: Mallinder 2
Penalties: Mallinder 2
Penalties: Steension 4
Referee: Matthew Carley
Tries: Phillips, Leota, Odogwu, Aulika
Conversions: Addison 4
Penalties: Addison 2
Tries: Betham 2, Thompstone
Conversions: Williams 3
Penalties: Williams 3
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Penalties: Hook, Laidlaw
Tries: Watson, Banahan
Referee: J P Doyle
Tries: Lozowski 2, Wyles, George, Kruis
Conversions: Ben Spencer 2, Lozowski 2
Penalties: Ben Spencer 2
Referee: Ian Tempest