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Match report: Dragons 33 Worcester Warriors 27

02 Feb 2018
Match report: Dragons 33 Worcester Warriors 27

It may have taken less than 60 seconds for Kurt Haupt to put Worcester Warriors in front at the Dragons but time ultimately ran out on the visitors’ Anglo-Welsh Cup hopes.

Alan Solomons’ side began the day with designs of reeling in Pool Three leaders Northampton Saints but three second-half tries from the hosts saw them fail to clinch qualification for the knockout stages.

Worcester got off to a dream start and got themselves on the board inside the opening minute, Luke Baldwin and Ben Howard dovetailing to tee up hooker Haupt to dot down, Sam Olver slotting away the extras.

The Warriors were brought back down to earth with nine minutes on the clock, with Jarryd Sage forcing his way over the line under pressure, Zane Kirchner converting.

A fiercely contested encounter continued to simmer and, with 18 minutes gone, the Dragons raised the temperature as full-back Ashton Hewitt pulled off a blistering break to run in his team’s second try of the game, Kirchner adding the extras.

But the pendulum swung back the other way and Worcester added to Haupt’s first-minute score, with Ollie Lawrence feeding Dean Hammond to smartly dart over, Olver again converting.

Fly-half Olver bisected the posts from the tee with 28 minutes gone to make it 17-14, the visitors safeguarding their slender advantage through to half-time.

The two teams exchanged tries inside the first 12 minutes of the second half, the Dragons edging themselves back in front as Sage’s kick forward bounced favourably for Kirchner to dot down Before Tom Howe hit back, Olver adding the extras.

Olver slotted away a penalty to make it 27-19 – but back came the Dragons again.

A lightning-quick dart from the hosts’ Sarel Pretorius saw the scrum-half whisk himself over the whitewash underneath the posts, with Kirchner converting to reduce the deficit to just a single point.

The hosts weren’t about to lie down and with six minutes remaining, the Dragons’ Tyler Morgan found space to dive over the line, Kirchner again adding the extras to leave Worcester trailing by seven points.

A converted score behind, there was to be no late comeback from the Warriors, the home side’s Kirchner missing a late penalty.

Attendance: 3,662

This year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup Final will be at the iconic Kingsholm Stadium, home of Gloucester Rugby, on Sunday 18 March. To buy tickets and be part of an unforgettable occasion click here

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