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ROUND 20 | PREVIEW | Worcester Warriors vs Bath

By Thomas Branston


Sixways Stadium (Kick-off 3pm)

Referee: Luke Pearce

Assistant Refs: Jack Makepeace, Ross Campbell

TMO: Geoff Warren


Worcester Warriors were beaten 36-26 by Sale Sharks last Friday at the AJ Bell Stadium but managed to pick up a try bonus point. Warriors only victory in their last five rounds of Aviva Premiership was a 41-24 win at home to Bristol on 5 March.

Worcester have lost just one of their last four Premiership Rugby encounters at Sixways, 32-48 to Exeter in Round 15.

Bath Rugby ended a three game losing run with a 27-21 win over Leicester Tigers at Twickenham in ‘The Clash’ last weekend. Bath have not won away from home since their visit to Exeter at the end of October.

Warriors will look to overturn this unfortunate stat with Bath winning their last eight encounters with Warriors since their last triumph being a 16-7 win at Sixways in November 2011

Bath ran out heavy winners last time out despite a promising start from Worcester in Round 3. Bath won 37-22 scoring four second-half tries to win the game. Scores from Annett and Hammond teed up a comfortable 17-6 score at half-time, but scores from Watson, Banahan, Rokodunguni and Houston cancelled out the Warriors efforts.


Worcester Warriors | 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Jackson Willison, 12 Ben Te’o, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Ryan Mills, 9 Francois Hougaard; 1 Ryan Bower, 2 Joe Taufete’e, 3 Biyi Alo, 4 Donncha O’Callaghan (c), 5 Will Spencer, 6 Chris Vui, 7 Sam Lewis, 8 Marco Mama

Replacements | 16 Jack Singleton, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 Gareth Milasinovich , 19 Dewald Potgieter, 20 Alafoti Faosiliva, 21 Luke Baldwin, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Wynand Olivier

Bath | 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 George Ford (c), 9 Kahn Fotuali’i; 1 Nathan Catt, 2 Ross Batty, 3 Kane Palma-Newport, 4 Charlie Ewels, 5 Elliott Stooke, 6 Tom Ellis, 7 Francois Louw, 8 Taulupe Faletau

Replacements | 16 Nathan Charles, 17 Beno Obano, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 David Denton, 20 Zach Mercer, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Tom Homer

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Aviva Premiership Round Up

By Thomas Branston

Saracens 40-19 Harlequins

Saracens guaranteed themselves a playoff spot after hammering Harlequins in front of 71,324 at Wembley Stadium. Chris Ashton impressed as he scored his fifth try in three games as Saracens kept the pressure on Wasps and Exeter Chiefs at the top of the table.

Defeat for Quins means they remain five points adrift of the play-off spots in sixth, with fourth-placed Leicester and Bath equal on points.

Bath 27-21 Leicester Tigers

Anthony Watson stole the headlines as he scored two late tries as Bath came from behind to beat Leicester at Twickenham.

In front of almost 62,000 fans, in their ‘home game’, Bath trailed 21-13 with just 14 minutes left but Watson had the final say to help secure victory.

Bath remain fifth, but move level on points with fourth-placed Leicester, with three games left, although the Tigers appear to have the easier run-in.

Wasps 32-30 Northampton Saints

Matt Mullan scored a last-minute try to secure a thrilling victory over Northampton at the Ricoh Arena.

Tries by Ben Foden, Alex Waller and George North put the visitors ahead, and Elliot Daly crossed to keep Wasps in touching distance at half-time. Christian Wade and Joe Simpson went over to give the hosts the lead before Ahsee Tuala and Teimana Harrisson crossed for Saints, but Mullan drove over and Gopperth clinched victory.

Wasps are already assured of a place in the play-offs and remain at the summit of the table. Saints are five points off fourth place but have a difficult run-in.

Exeter Chiefs 38-34 Bristol

Thomas Waldrom scored two second half-tries to ensure that Exeter will play a second consecutive year in the Premiership play-offs with a dramatic victory over relegation-threatened Bristol.

Exeter remain in second-place five points behind Wasps whilst Bristol remain eight points behind Worcester at the bottom of the table.

Newcastle Falcons 16 Gloucester Rugby 14

Newcastle Falcons edged past Gloucester on Friday night with a last-gasp Joel Hodgson penalty kick to secure a dramatic victory.

The sides were tied at 7-7 at half-time after England wing Jonny May cancelled out Juan Pablo Socino’s try. Tom Marshall scored for the visitors in-between two Hodgson penalties, but Hodgson then slotted a third penalty with seconds left to win the game for Newcastle.

Gloucester remain six points adrift of the European rugby places behind Northampton and Harlequins whilst Falcons moved to within a point of Gloucester with the win.

Sale Sharks 36 Worcester Warriors 26

Man of the Match Sam James scored two tries as Sale beat Worcester, who managed to pick up a crucial four-try bonus-point in the battle to avoid Premiership relegation.

James’ brace followed by Mike Haley’s effort just before the break put Sale 21-14 up, with Worcester’s tries coming from Francois Hougaard and Joseph Taufete’e. But second-half Bryon McGuigan and Ben Curry tries ensured victory for Sale.

Worcester move to eight points clear of Bristol in the relegation zone whilst Sale Sharks remain 12 points adrift from the European places.