Worcester gave their chances of avoiding relegation a significant boost with a win over Newcastle at Sixways in a tense but scrappy contest.
Newcastle failed to take their chances in the first half and some very determined defending and a late try from Will Bowley saw the Warriors home.
Newcastle began the game strongly when directly from the kick they produced a fluid movement which covered fully seventy metres before Gcobani Bobo threw a forward pass just as the home try line beckoned.
The Falcons continued to dominate the early proceedings and it was twelve minutes before Worcester entered the visitors’ 22. Newcastle lost possession at a scrum 45 metres out from their own line allowing Jonny Arr to hack the back towards the Falcons’ line. Following a succession of five-metre scrums, the visitors were penalised for Willie Walker to kick the simple penalty after 16 minutes.
The Falcons continued to be the more enterprising and dangerous side, producing some elusive running and, coupled with some poor tackling from the home side, it allowed Newcastle to boss the game territorially. They had a period of almost 10 minutes of sustained pressure in the Worcester 22 but improved tackling by the Warriors somehow kept their try line intact before a dropped pass from Newcastle allowed them to relieve the pressure.
A knock-on from Jimmy Gopperth underneath his own posts gave Worcester their second attacking platform of the half and, when Newcastle were penalised at the resulting scrum, Walker knocked over another easy goal with seven minutes to go to the interval.
Two minutes later, at a scrum, Jon Golding incurred the wrath of the referee, Chris White, and received a stern warning but Chris Pennell could not take advantage as he was narrowly short with his penalty attempt from long distance. Following the miss Worcester gained their only period of pressure of the half but were unable to extend their advantage leaving them extremely fortunate to be 6-0 ahead at half-time.
Early play in the second half again went the Falcons’ way but once again ill discipline allowed Worcester to clear their lines. A careless knock-on in his own 22 by Alex Tait gave the Warriors an attacking opportunity but they were unable to capitalise and minutes later Tait had two kicks charged down in quick succession with the Falcons lucky to escape.
A poor attempt at a kick through from Walker allowed Newcastle a kick-and-chase into the home 22 which allowed the Falcons another period of pressure. However their earlier creativity deserted them and some very resolute home defending kept them out.
Newcastle kept up the pressure and after 60 minutes Gopperth had an easy chance to put his side on the scoreboard but his 20-metre penalty attempt drifted wide.
The game then became a litany of errors with neither side able to build any pattern to their play before Worcester scored the crucial try with seven minutes to go. A Newcastle pass went astray and bounced straight into the hands of replacement Will Bowley who ran 20 metres to the line for the try which Walker converted.