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Match Reaction: Saracens 25-17 Worcester Warriors

Match Reaction: Saracens 25-17 Worcester Warriors

Saracens dug in to come from six points down at half-time and beat Worcester Warriors 25-17 on home turf as they returned to winning ways.

After defeat at Exeter Chiefs last time out, Saracens appeared to be suffering from something of a hangover, as first Duncan Weir and then Ben Te’o – making his first start for the Warriors this season – dotted down to give the visitors a commanding 14-0 lead.

But the reigning Gallagher Premiership champions showed resolve to fight back, first through Mako Vunipola before the break and then Calum Clark and David Strettle in the second 40 as they gained ground on the Chiefs at the summit of the table.

MAN OF THE MATCH

While they couldn’t hold on for what would have been a famous win, the Warriors deserve immense credit for the devastating rugby they played throughout the first-half, and the tenacious Duncan Weir was right at the heart of it.

Rewarded for his intuition when the also excellent Francois Hougaard found his piercing line as he charged into the corner for the visitors’ first try, Weir was a menace throughout.

His kicking left little to be desired, but he will be left to rue a second-half penalty miss that could have handed the Warriors a well-deserved losing bonus point.

TRY OF THE MATCH

The Warriors’ second was a simple move of flowing beauty, and it left Saracens and the Allianz Park faithful stunned.

Perry Humphreys spotted a gap on the first phase of play and burst through, but for Ben Spencer to recover and haul him down.

Te’o was first on hand, however, to gratefully profit from Humphreys’ fine work and dot down under the posts.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Although Mark McCall’s exact words to his players at half-time may never reach the public, the gist of them can certainly be guessed at as Saracens burst out of the traps after the break.

And when Clark profited from an overlap to score, the momentum shift was palpable – especially as Owen Farrell converted the extras to give the hosts their first lead of the match.

After that, Saracens dug in, controlling the ball in professional manner, before Strettle put the icing on the cake.

WHAT THEY SAID

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said: “Today was just one of those things; the more important thing for me is how we responded.

“I felt that we were then the dominant team for the next 60 minutes or so, had a lot of ball, a lot of field position. Overall our response to a difficult situation was a good one.”

Worcester director of rugby Alan Solomons said: “I thought the first-half we played really well and we had some ball and scored two tries.

“In the second-half we made a few mistakes and we were punished for them. What happened is they got territory, they held on to the ball and that made it very difficult for us.

“I think the important point was the character that the side showed throughout that game. I thought the lads did really well, I was very proud of them.”

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