Sunday, March 5th, 2017
REPORT: Worcester Warriors 41-24 Bristol Rugby
Sunday, March 5th, 2017
Aviva Premiership Rugby
Worcester Warriors 41 - 24 Bristol Rugby
|Spencer, Hougaard, Olivier, Heem (2)||Tries||Varndell, Woodward, Crumpton|
|Mills (4)||Conversions||Henson, Woodward, Wallace|
Ref: Wayne Barnes
Bristol were made to pay for a lacklustre first half performance as they fell to a 41-24 defeat to Worcester Warriors.
Mark Tainton’s side trailed 31-10 at half time and were outscored by six tries to three at Sixways as Bryce Heem (2), Francois Hougaard, Will Spencer and Wynand Olivier all crossed, after an early penalty try had set the ball rolling.
Bristol responded through Jason Woodward, Max Crumpton and Tom Varndell but they were mere consolation on a disappointing afternoon.
This highly-anticipated clash didn’t take long to get going, in fact it was just 66 seconds old when Wayne Barnes went under the posts to award Worcester a penalty try – as well as sending Dan Tuohy to the sin-bin - after a fumble at the kick-off gifted the hosts an early penalty.
Ryan Mills converted and was then on target with a penalty to open up a ten-point lead after Bristol were penalised at the scrum for the second time in quick succession.
No sooner had Tuohy returned from the sin-bin, Worcester’s Bryce Heem had replaced him after a tip tackle on Ryan Bevington in midfield – and from the resulting penalty, Gavin Henson fired over Bristol’s first points of the afternoon.
But despite their numerical disadvantage, it was Worcester who struck next courtesy of scrum half Francois Hougaard who latched on to an overthrow at the Bristol lineout to scorch over from 40 metres.
PUMPED: Jason Woodward celebrates his first half try at Sixways (Photo: JMP UK).
In an all-action first half, Mark Tainton’s side hit back almost immediately as Jason Woodward barged his way over from close range after the visiting maul had rumbled towards the line.
Henson’s extras made it 17-10 with 25 minutes played, but the rest of the half belonged firmly to the hosts – and Hougaard.
Their third score arrived on 34 minutes when Will Spencer twisted, turned and shunted over the whitewash, before that man Hougaard sliced another hole in the Bristol defence and fed Bryce Heem to scorch in untouched and gift Worcester a 31-10 lead at the interval.
The second half began with more of the same as Worcester turned the screw inside Bristol’s 22 – and when they did escape, handling errors from first phase ball prevented the visitors from gaining any real foothold.
HALTED: Tom Varndell tackles man-of-the-match Francois Hougaard (Photo: JMP UK).
Varndell went close on two occasions but both times found himself bundled into touch five metres short of the line, while Jack Lam put his hand-off to good use as he powered through three tackles on the Worcester 22.
But it was to no avail and at the other end, Worcester were looking razor sharp and after Willison’s midfield break, Josh Adams’ arcing run created space for Heem to score his second and the hosts’ fifth.
Bristol hit back through Max Crumpton’s close-range effort while Woodward’s conversion made it 36-17 with 12 minutes to play - and Varndell then put Bristol within range of snatching two consolation bonus-points when he intercepted and raced in under the posts on 74 minutes.
But Wynand Olivier put the icing on the Warriors cake with a sixth try in the closing stages as Bristol left Sixways empty-handed.
The game's key moment came as early as the first minute when Wayne Barnes dealt Bristol a double blow by awarding Worcester a penalty try and sin-binning Dan Touhy. It set the tone for the afternoon and Bristol never really recovered.
Photo of the match:
CONSOLATION: Jason Woodward roars in delight after scoring Bristol's opening try at Sixways (Photo: JMP UK).
Man of the match: Jack Lam
The Samoan flanker did his best to halt Worcester's momentum with some impressive turnovers and booming tackles, as well as a barnstorming run during the second half.
Social media post of the day:
Bristol Rugby: Jason Woodward, David Lemi, Will Hurrell (Pisi 40), Siale Piutau, Tom Varndell; Gavin Henson (Wallace 65), Alby Mathewson (Williams 65); Ryan Bevington (O’Connell 70), Marc Jones (Crumpton 65), Gaston Cortes (Ford-Robinson 40), Dan Tuohy (Jeffries 34), Ian Evans, Mitch Eadie, Jack Lam, Jordan Crane (c) (Fenton-Wells 65).
Replacements: Max Crumpton, Jack O’Connell, Jamal Ford-Robinson, Sam Jeffries, Nick Fenton-Wells, Rhodri Williams, Tusi Pisi, Jack Wallace.
Worcester Warriors: Chris Pennell, Bryce Heem, Wynand Olivier, Jackson Willison, Josh Adams, Ryan Mills, Francois Hougaard; Val Rapava Ruskin, Joe Taufete'e, Nick Schonert, Donncha O'Callaghan (C), Will Spencer, Chris Vui, Sam Lewis, Marco Mama.
Replacements: Matti Williams, Ryan Bower, Biyi Alo, Tevita Cavubati, Dewald Potgieter, Luke Baldwin, Ryan Lamb, Perry Humphreys.