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Worcester ease to a comfortable victory

09 Mar 2007
Worcester ease to a comfortable victory

Reigning champions Sale Sharks slipped to their fifth straight defeat as basement boys Worcester eased to a comfortable victory.

Warriors, buoyed by their first home win of the season last week against Bath, made it two wins in a row to leave the Sharks chances of retaining their title in tatters.

Shane Drahm and Tevita Taumoepeau scored tries for the visitors to leave Sale with just one win in their last nine in the GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP.

Worcester knew a bonus point win against the out-of-form Sharks would be enough to move them off the bottom of the table at the expense of Northampton.

And, despite missing influential skipper Pat Sanderson with a broken hand, the visitors burst out of the blocks.

Full-back Drahm should have got the scoreboard ticking for Worcester early on, but missed a simple penalty goal in front of the sticks.

But he made amends though just a minute later.

Centre Dale Rasmussen, fresh from signing a new three-year contract with the Warriors this week, burst through the Sale defence and, following some slick handling from James Brown, Drahm eventually wriggled over the line.

Brown missed the conversion to extend the score, but the game was held up soon after for around 10 minutes as Sharks’ Mark Taylor was carried off on a stretcher with what looked to be a neck injury.

Daniel Larrechea, back from suspension for the reigning champions, then sent a 30-metre penalty sailing between the posts to peg the Warriors back.

But the visitors stretched their lead after half an hour when Taumoepeau bundled over for his first score of the season.

Larrechea reduced Worcester’s lead to just three points at the break, kicking two more penalties.

The fly-half then missed a chance to put the Sharks back on level terms early in the second period, before Brown added another three points for the relegation-threatened Warriors.

Larrechea’s drop goal with the home side on top only added to the home supporters’ frustrations as Worcester resolutely defended their try line.

Sale, who had not scored a try in their previous two matches, were in touching distance of breaking that duck midway through the second half.

But a superb last-ditch tackle from Rasmussen on debutant full-back Julien Laharrague, kept the Sharks at bay.

And Worcester held on to go level on 25 points with Saints at the foot of the table.

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