TOP BAR - Fixtures

Match Reaction: Worcester Warriors 31 Sale Sharks 23

Dean Ryan admitted the class of Francois Hougaard had proved vital in Worcester Warriors ending their 13-game winless run with victory over Sale Sharks.

The recently-signed Springbok international – who has been playing 7s so far this season – crossed for a try at Sixways on his first Aviva Premiership Rugby appearance.

With no win since round four in the league, the Warriors hit the ground running as Carl Kirwan and Hougaard both went over in the first half.

Dave Seymour gave the Sharks a foothold before the break but the accurate place kicking of Warriors stand-off Tom Heathcote was in stark contrast to Danny Cipriani who had a tough day from the tee.

Tommy Taylor's try straight after half-time trimmed the lead again but Chris Pennell hit straight back for the home side to put them 31-13 to the good.

Sharks full-back Mike Haley then crossed twice in the final 20 minutes to claim the consolation of a four-try bonus point but Cipriani's four missed conversions meant the Warriors victory was secured – and lifts them to tenth in the league standings with Newcastle Falcons playing on Sunday. 

But it was the appearance of Hougaard – 35 times capped by South Africa – that proved vital according to Ryan.

"He only arrived on Monday but Francois was outstanding today. He's a class player and his confidence spread through the team.

"We are delighted to get a win over the form team in the Premiership.

"Apart from the London Irish, our performances haven't been an issue but we just needed a bit of self-belief to get over the line.

"We've put ourselves in a bit of a fight as we missed three or four chances earlier in the season."

The Sharks had won their last six matches in all competitions – their best run since 2007, with their only defeat in their last four away games coming at Exeter on Boxing Day.

But they were made to pay for a slow start according to their director of rugby Steve Diamond.

"In the first half, we weren't at the races. They were hungrier than us and we didn't match it and we made two or three defensive errors,” he said.

"In the second half, we were much better and I'm disappointed that we didn't go away with two bonus points."
Sale skipper and England squad member Josh Beaumont was helped from the field due to injury on the final whistle.

"It's a potential shoulder dislocation and we'll have to wait until Monday for a scan to see the extent of the damage," Diamond said.
 
Worcester Warriors: Pennell; Heem, Olivier, Mills (Symons 70), Vuna; Heathcote, Hougaard; Rapava Ruskin (Leleimalefaga 61), Bregvadze (Annett 61), Schonert, O'Callaghan, Barry (Sanderson 74), Potgieter, Kirwan (Dowson 59), van Velze
Replacements not used: Baldwin, Lamb

Sale Sharks: Haley; Arscott, James, Tuitupou (Jennings 48), Edwards; Cipriani, Stringer (Cusiter 52); Lewis-Roberts (Harrison 48), Taylor, Cobilas (Mujati 48), Mills (Lund 74), Evans, Neild, Seymour (Easter 74), Beaumont
Replacements not used: Briggs, Ford,

Scorers:

Worcester
Tries: Kirwan, Hougaard, Pennell
Conversions: Heathcote 2
Penalties: Heathcote 4

Sale
Tries: Seymour, Taylor, Haley 2
Penalty: Cipriani
Referee: Greg Garner
Attendance: 7,156
 

Latest News

Jeff Williams excited by new Bath Rugby role for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Bath Rugby won’t be lacking rugby 7s experience when former England international Jeff Williams takes the reigns for the Singha…

Whiteley hoping to lead Saracens starlets to glory in Singha 7s

Saracens scrum-half Tom Whiteley is hoping to use all his experience of competing at the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s to…

Mike Delany returns to New Zealand

Newcastle Falcons fly-half Mike Delany has returned to his native New Zealand to sign for home province, Bay of Plenty.…

Mike Delany

Topsy Ojo talks London Double Header memories

With six weeks to go until London Irish lock horns with Harlequins in the iconic London Double Header at Twickenham,…

Topsy Ojo

Toby Flood hopes to bring ruthless streak to Newcastle Falcons

Toby Flood is hoping to help give Newcastle Falcons the ruthless streak required to push them further up the Aviva…

Toby Flood

Aviva Premiership Rugby set for changes after six law amendments added to global trial

Aviva Premiership Rugby will be part of the global trial for six new law amendments after the World Rugby Executive…

Alex Lewington hopes London Irish youngsters will gain confidence from Singha 7s

London Irish wing Alex Lewington cannot wait to see which youngsters step up to the plate in the Singha Premiership…

Alex Lewington

Worcester Warriors sign Ireland scrum-half Peter Stringer

Warriors have signed Ireland international Peter Stringer on a six-month deal ahead of the 2017/18 season. The scrum-half will join…

Peter Stringer

Tim Streather forced to retire from rugby

Former Saracens centre Tim Streather has been forced to retire from the game due to a knee injury. Commenting on…

Tim Streather

Contract and captaincy for Dylan Hartley at Northampton Saints

Northampton Saints has today announced that Dylan Hartley has both signed a new contract and been appointed as the club’s…

Dylan Hartley

Forwards Coach George Skivington says London Irish squad are chomping at the bit

The London Irish squad have returned for pre-season training ‘hungrier’ than ever before according to Forwards Coach George Skivington. Now…

George Skivington

Wasps Academy sign Gabriel Oghre and George Thornton

Wasps announce the signing of hooker Gabriel Oghre and prop George Thornton to the Senior Academy ahead of the new…

Gabriel Oghre and George Thornton

Singha 7s gives next generation the chance to shine

Harlequins academy coach Jim Evans believes that next week’s Singha Premiership Rugby 7s will give the league’s stars of the…

Harlequins in action at the Singha 7s

Singha Premiership Rugby 7s draw confirmed

The 2017-18 Premiership Rugby season will kick off – at the end of July - in spectacular style with the Singha…

Win an Executive Box for the Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens Series

Premiership Rugby has teamed up with Northampton Saints to offer supporters the chance to win themselves an Executive Box at…

Singha 7s Ball

Dave Attwood and team-mates happy to lend a hand at Bath Rugby Foundation’s Summer Scrum

Bath Rugby lock Dave Attwood admitted helping teach rugby to children with disabilities was extremely humbling as he and his…

Gordon Reid on his first training day with London Irish

New recruit Gordon Reid is determined to be a permanent fixture in London Irish’s front row having made the switch…

Gordon Reid

Singha 7s is a chance for players to shine, says Stephen Myler

Northampton Saints’ Stephen Myler is anticipating a vibrant atmosphere and high-octane rugby when the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s arrives at…

Stephen Myler

Mark Wilson bringing his England form back to Newcastle Falcons

Newcastle Falcons’ latest England international checked back in at his club on Monday, with Mark Wilson enthusiastic about their prospects…

Mark Wilson