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Warriors upset high-flying Tigers

08 Mar 2008
Warriors upset high-flying Tigers

Worcester took another massive step towards securing Guinness Premiership safety after a brilliant individual performance by fly-half Shane Drahm stunned title-chasing Leicester.

The Tigers had the opportunity to temporarily steal top spot from Gloucester and seemed to be on their way after Brett Deacon’s first-minute score.

But Australian fly-half Drahm set up Greg Rawlinson late in the first half before engineering second-half tries for wingers Marcel Garvey and Miles Benjamin to move Warriors 14 points clear of bottom side Leeds.

Leicester, meanwhile, slip to third in the table but were boosted by scrum-half Harry Ellis’ first start in 10 months.

Knee ligament damage sustained last May ruled Ellis out of the World Cup but after coming on as a replacement against Leeds last week he managed 56 minutes at the Sixways Stadium.

Samoan winger Alesana Tuilagi also made his first start in a Tigers shirt in three months while 21-year-old flanker Ben Pienaar was making his full debut in the Premiership.

Worcester had Thinus Delport making his 100th Premiership appearance but they could not have made a worse start.

A poor pass by Matt Powell saw Drahm’s kick charged down allowing Leicester flanker Deacon to touch down a simple try. Andy Goode added the extras.

Drahm responded with a well-struck penalty after Leicester hands in the ruck, before reducing the deficit to one point with another successful kick.

On the half-hour mark Goode capitalised on a Warriors offside to stretch the away side’s advantage to 10-6.

But Worcester were not done and shortly before the break Drahm fired a long miss-pass out to Rawlinson, who charged through two tacklers to score and put the Warriors a point ahead.

Drahm missed the conversion and in the last play of the half another Goode penalty restored the Tigers’ lead.

After their dream start to the first half, the boot was on the other foot for Leicester in the second.

Only three minutes in, a Drahm break created some space for Garvey to scamper over under the posts before the fly-half added the extras.

More Drahm brilliance set up Worcester’s third try as the stand-off burst from inside his own half, leaving defenders in his wake, before chipping ahead.

Centre Dale Rasmussen recycled the ball to wing Benjamin, who crashed over and sent the Warriors fans into raptures.

A missed conversion meant their lead was still only 10 points and two Goode penalties set up a thrilling finale.

Warriors replacement Drew Hickey was yellow carded with two minutes remaining but despite being camped inside the home 22, the Tigers were left frustrated.

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