Match Reaction: Worcester Warriors 22-38 Saracens
Saracens booked their place in the Premiership Ruby Cup Final by overcoming Worcester Warriors at Sixways in a thrilling last four battle.
Alex Lozowski booted 18 points, while fly-half Max Malins starred in the second half by scoring one try and then setting up another.
Tom Whiteley, Rotimi Segun and Sione Vailanu also crossed for Saracens, while Nick David and Tom Howe (2) crossed for the hosts.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Alex Lozowski rightly deserves the plaudits after a superb kicking display but Max Malins came alive in the second half for Saracens and played a key part in their win.
Worcester trailed 18-3 at half time but stormed back into it through tries from David and Howe and the home crowd sensed a famous comeback was on – before Malins had his say.
The No.10 blasted through for a try of his own to snap back control for Saracens, before he threw a dummy and sprinted 60 metres downfield minutes later.
He was hauled down just short of the line but his run had splintered Worcester’s defence and Vailanu powered over shortly after.
TRY OF THE MATCH
There is no doubt about this. With a Worcester player prepared to knock Malins back and potentially force a turnover, the fly-half, who was collecting a kick in his own 22, had other ideas.
He shaped to kick but feigned superbly to his left, before spotting a gap and breaking through – ripping the Worcester defence apart.
He was eventually caught but the damage was done and Vailanu’s finish was simple.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Saracens promised a physical defence before this encounter and they set the tone early, with a turnover leading to a try inside the opening ten minutes.
On a greasy surface, Worcester understandably planned to utilise a kicking game but that went wrong against Saracens’ quick defensive line.
With the ball on half-way, Saracens stepped up to block a Scott van Breda kick, leading to Tom Whiteley scampering through to score. It set the tone for the match.
WHAT THEY SAID
Saracens fly-half Max Malins: “That means a lot to us. I thought we played the game really well, especially in weather like this, our defence got us the result today.
“I ran out of wheels at the end but I thought we scored some good tries. Two were from counter-attacks and two were from set-plays.
“We spoke about being really disciplined and playing in the right areas. We did that. It is all about hard work and we did that.”
Worcester Warriors centre Wynand Olivier: “Saracens are a class outfit. They played well, especially in those conditions.
“The early tries cost us. They are good finishes but we out ourselves on the back foot. We had a lot to play for though and it was good to see the lads go out there and perform.”
BEST OF SOCIAL
Yes lads! 🔥🔥 https://t.co/H7SJnftFne
— Ben Spencer (@Ben_spencer9) February 8, 2019
— Jackson Wray (@JacksonWray) February 8, 2019
Thank you for the messages on the 50th! Boys were outstanding! We go again! 🙏🔥 #awayand…
— Nick Isiekwe (@NickIsiekwe) February 8, 2019
🎥 “Making a semi-final is always special – a lot of youngsters have come through in this competition.”@Wynand_olivier takes the positives from this year’s Premiership Rugby Cup campaign… pic.twitter.com/ySv78wJSA5
— Worcester Warriors ⚔️ (@WorcsWarriors) February 8, 2019