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Match Report: Worcester Warriors 20-21 Wasps

01 Sep 2018
Match Report: Worcester Warriors 20-21 Wasps

Wasps have now won nine in a row against Worcester Warriors in Gallagher Premiership Rugby, but they had to do it the hard way in this dramatic season opener at Sixways.

The Warriors burst into an early lead thanks to the boot of Duncan Weir and Ryan Mills’ early try.

But the visitors fought back through Billy Searle’s goal-kicking and tries for Joe Launchbury and Tommy Taylor.

And while Sam Lewis scored in the second half for Worcester, it was a late Searle penalty that proved enough as Wasps repelled a furious late Warriors surge for the narrowest of victories.

The Warriors started brightly and two Weir penalties opened up an early 6-0 lead. And the season was only 17 minutes old when their first try followed soon after.

It was Mills who got it, and it was far too easy as the centre attacked on a short inside ball and shrugged off Searle and Christian Wade on his way to the line.

With Weir’s conversion, the Warriors were 13-0 to the good and Wasps needed an immediate response.

Searle’s first penalty was pulled wide but he made up for it soon after to get the visitors on the board.

Elliot Daly’s long-range effort then fell agonisingly short but Searle slotted a second and it was 13-6 at the interval – although both sides finished the first half at breakneck speed with Josh Adams going close for the hosts and the TMO denying Joe Atkinson at the other end.

The video referee was again in action at the start of the second half to deny Juan De Jongh a score, but Wasps soon made their pressure count as Launchbury burst over with Alafoti Fa’osiliva in the bin for the hosts.

But the Worcester response was almost immediate, Weir pulling the strings to get the Warriors backline moving before Lewis broke through down the left for their second try.

Back came Wasps though and after a quick tap from Dan Robson, Taylor dived over in the left corner.

Searle could not add the extras however, and the Warriors led 20-18 as the game entered the final quarter.

Searle’s 69th minute penalty put Wasps in front however, and that was how it stayed as they fronted up manfully in defence to deny the surging Warriors and claim their seventh win in their last eight games at the venue.