Worcester see off of Newcastle
November 21, 2008
Sam Tuitupou gives Newcastle's Danny Williams a hard time at Sixways
© Getty Images
Worcester built on last week's impressive win at Sale by defeating a combative Newcastle side 26-11 in a poor match.
The game only came to life in the last 10 minutes for as, until then, it had been an error-ridden affair, full of penalty awards. Worcester were fortunate to be ahead at the interval but they were much the better team in the second half.
Chris Latham was the outstanding player, combining some lengthy touch-finding with some creative running. Newcastle had no such talisman and seem destined to be competing with Bristol for the relegation spot this season.
Ultimately they were well beaten but had Rory Clegg been more on target with his goal-kicking they would have remained in contention for far longer. Worcester had lost their two previous Premiership matches at Sixways and were looking for a win against a side two places below them in the table but it was Newcastle who had the first chance.
However, Clegg missed a 35-metre penalty attempt after Chris Latham had failed to collect an excellent up and under. Latham soon made amends for his error, taking a pass from Matthew Jones at a beautiful angle to run deep into the Newcastle 22.
The visitors offended and Jones kicked a simple goal to give Worcester the lead after eight minutes. Chris Pennell doubled Worcester's score with a beautifully-struck penalty from halfway before Steve Jones, the Newcastle full-back, brilliantly collected a high ball and stormed away into home territory from which his side built a period of pressure.
The Worcester defence conceded another penalty and this time, from a similar distance, Clegg was successful to make it 6-3. Worcester then lost Matthew Jones to injury, replaced by Loki Crichton, with Newcastle, in turn, also seeing Steve Jones leave the field with a leg problem.
Crichton soon made his mark four minutes before half-time with an easy penalty but Worcester began the second half in style, scoring the first try within two minutes of the restart. Alex Lutui was heavily involved in a couple of drives before the ball was spun wide for Latham to force his way over in the corner.
Crichton converted with an excellent kick. Clegg missed a penalty but then struck one from halfway to keep Newcastle in touch but going into the final quarter Crichton kicked a penalty to give Worcester a healthy 19-6 lead.
With 14 minutes to go Worcester were penalised for collapsing a scrum but Clegg missed badly from only 25 metres and with that miss went Newcastle's final hopes.
Worcester lost Latham with a minor leg injury but as he was receiving attention Crichton cleverly chipped over the top for Sam Tuitupou to collect and score under the posts.
Crichton converted but with the last movement of the match Danny Williams battled over for a deserved consolation score for the visitors.
Worcester: Latham, Pennell, Rasmussen, Tuitupou, Benjamin, M. Jones, M. Powell, Mullan, Fortey, Tuamoepeau, Rawlinson, Gillies, Talei, Sanderson, Horstmann.
Replacements: Gear for Latham (69), Crichton for M. Jones (23), B. Jones for M. Powell (72), Lutui for Fortey (18), Horsman for Tuamoepeau (59), Bowley for Rawlinson (59), Cox for Talei (72).
Newcastle: Jones, D. Williams, May, Tu'ipulotu, Rudd, Clegg, Charlton, Golding, Thompson, D. Wilson, Parling, Sorenson, Swinson, B. Wilson, Dowson.
Replacements: Dillon for Jones (29), Grindal for Charlton (53), Ward for Golding (33), Vickers for Thompson (71), Brown for Dowson (71). Not Used: Perry, Visser.
Referee: Martin Fox (RFU).