Warriors open up commanding lead
January 9, 2011
Nottingham's Ali Williams awaits the ball during his side's clash with Bristol at Meadow Lane © Getty Images
Worcester opened up a massive 17-point lead at the top of the Championship table with a resounding 32-0 win over nearest rivals Bedford at Sixways on Saturday.
Richard Hill's men romped to a bonus-point victory thanks to a brace from prolific wing Marcel Garvey as well as efforts from Tom Arscott and Aleki Lutui and the former England scrum-half was full of praise for his side's precision at the final whistle.
"I'm very pleased - it was a better win than we anticipated," he said. "The players were in a good frame of mind and started well, which was critical after last weekend at Bristol where we were a lot of points down. This time we were a lot of points up.
"It was an efficient performance, we are getting more precise and really I think after the first quarter of an hour the result was never in doubt.
"Those are the sort of results we are working towards and we could see signs that it was coming over the last few games against Doncaster, Moseley and Bristol. I could see the machine started to grind away in its efficient way."
Bedford's slip-up allowed London Welsh to close the gap between second and third to two points thanks to their 48-12 demolition of Moseley at Old Deer Park. The Exiles ran seven tries through the visitors' leaky defence, with winger Paul Sampson leading the way with a double. Errie Claassens, Paul Mackey, Vili Ma'asi, Hudson Tonga'uiha and Robert Herring completed a comfortable win for Phil Greening's side.
Nottingham closed the gap on the top four with 25-18 victory over Bristol at Meadow Lane on Sunday. The hosts started former All Black Ali Williams for the first time since he joined the club on a short-term deal and the lock helped his side take the spoils in a see-saw encounter. In the end two tries from wing Tim Streather and others from speedster Jack Cobden and centre Junior Sifa carried the home side to the win with fly-half James Arlidge chipping in with a penalty and a conversion.
Cornish Pirates lost ground on the leaders with a narrow 19-18 away loss to mid-table Rotherham. Juan Pablo Socino did the damage for the home side and scored all of their points courtesy of a try, conversion and four penalties. In Saturday's other game, Plymouth Albion scraped past struggling Esher 16-12.
In the weekend's other game, basement side Birmingham & Solihull notched only their third league win of the campaign with a 35-29 victory over mid-table Doncaster.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry
Are the margins between the teams in the Six Nations getting smaller year-on-year? Huw Richards gives some answers