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Worcester Warriors 12 Saracens 22

02 Feb 2013
Worcester Warriors 12 Saracens 22

Ben Spencer kicked 17 points and Ernst Joubert went over early as Saracens qualified for the LV= Cup semi-finals by winning 22-12 at Sixways against Worcester Warriors.

The scrum-half slotted five penalties and a conversion of Joubert’s fourth-minute try, with Blair Cowan and Josh Drauniniu's tries not enough for Worcester.

Cardiff Blues’ hard-fought win over London Irish on Friday night had opened the door for Saracens, who knew that a win would be enough to book their place in the final four.

However the Warriors had named a strong side and had already beaten Sarries at Sixways in the Aviva Premiership earlier this season, although Sale’s win over London Wasps had earlier ended their slim semi-final hopes.

But it was Sarries who made the quicker start through Joubert’s try after just four minutes.

The No.8 took advantage as the visitors worked an overlap and with the Worcester defence stretched, the 32-year-old slipped past the tackle of Jonny Arr to dot down for the first try. Spencer converted to make it 7-0.

The visitors continued to dominate and earned themselves a penalty after some good offloading, scrum-half Spencer again on target.

Worcester still looked to be finding their feet but did manage to hit back just after the quarter-hour from a powerful rolling maul.

After a huge drive, it was Kiwi No.8 Cowan who eventually emerged from under a pile of bodies with the score, and Goode converted to make it 10-7.

That appeared to spark the Warriors into life, but despite some dynamic carrying from the Worcester forwards, they could not turn it into points.

In fact it was Sarries who managed the next score, as Spencer slotted a conversion just before the break to put the visitors 13-7 up.

Saracens continued where they left off at the start of the second half, dominating territory for the first ten minutes as they looked to extend their lead.

But against the run of play it was the Warriors who scored their first try, Drauniniu completing a move he had started.

The winger broke away after collecting the ball from Chris Pennell, only to be dragged down just short of the line.

However after the Warriors mounted a series of charges to cross, it was Drauniniu himself who collected Goode’s chipped kick to score. Goode missed the conversion that would have put Worcester in front.

Leading by just a point, Sarries needed a reaction and they got it when the home scrum was penalised, Spencer stretching the lead back to 16-12.

The Worcester indiscipline was proving costly and after a cagey period where neither side could impose themselves, it was Sarries who scored again, Spencer with his fourth penalty of the afternoon.

And he was on target once more just a couple of minutes later as Saracens guaranteed their place in the knockout stages.

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