Saints score five as they slay Worcester at rain-soaked Gardens

Saints produced a superb second-half showing as they saw off Worcester Warriors 35-16 in soggy conditions at Franklin's Gardens.

Saturday, 26th October 2019, 5:09 pm
Taqele Naiyaravoro scored for Saints

Man of the match George Furbank scored twice, with Tom Collins, Taqele Naiyaravoro and Ollie Sleightholme also dotting down.

All of Saints' tries came after the break as they bounced back from a tough first half, in which Worcester took a 9-6 lead thanks to Duncan Weir's boot.

It was a stirring respond from Saints after half-time as they bagged the bonus point and backed up their Gallagher Premiership opening-day win at Saracens in style.

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Teimana Harrison carried the fight to the Warriors

In atrocious conditions, Worcester had taken an early lead as Weir landed a penalty from in front of the posts.

It was all Worcester during the formative stages of the match, with one supporter loudly imploring Saints to 'wake up'.

Weir slotted a second penalty to make it 6-0 on 12 minutes and there was a distinct lack of life about the black, green and gold start.

Chris Pennell attempted a penalty from inside his own half but it was sent wide and the Saints supporters frantically tried to rally their team, who had not got going at all.

James Grayson was on kicking duties

Finally, Saints started to get a foothold in the game, and they were rewarded with a successful James Grayson penalty.

But Worcester responded almost immediately through another Weir penalty.

Mike Haywood made an earlier than expected entry into the game, coming on for James Fish to get his first game time since suffering a knee injury at Gloucester last November.

Saints started to recover again thanks to a helping hand from a former player, Ethan Waller being sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on.

Fraser Dingwall was in action for Saints

Grayson landed the resulting penalty and Weir missed the chance to respond at the other end after a harsh call was given against Teimana Harrison.

Worcester handled the sin-bin period well, preventing any further damage as they played the game in Saints' half.

Francois Hougaard booted the ball out to ensure his side would go in three points up at the break.

Worcester had the chance to extend that lead just after the restart, but Weir missed a penalty from out wide.

Warriors then lost influential scrum-half Hougaard to a shoulder injury and they were dealt another blow as Saints scored soon after.

Grayson put the grubber kick through and although Furbank was beaten to the ball, it came back for the onrushing Collins to dot down.

Grayson converted and the noise levels started to rise as Saints started to really get a grip of the game.

Tom Wood was held up and Saints continued to pile the pressure on, forcing Worcester to crack as Naiyaravoro powered over.

Grayson converted to make it 20-9 and the fly-half was starting to put his side in the right positions, penning the Warriors in.

The away side did have a chance to respond after going to the corner, but Saints stood tall, with Rory Hutchinson forcing a knock-on.

And it wasn't long before Saints were knocking loudly on the Warriors door again, and they were to score two quickfire tries to bag the bonus point.

Collins sent Furbank in out wide on the right, and Lewis Bean did the same for Sleightholme, with the two replacements combining just a minute after coming on.

Grayson missed both tricky conversions, but the job was done for Saints and they kept turning to their bench to give key players a breather.

But it didn't stop their momentum and with gaps galore appearing in the Worcester defence, Furbank flew in for his second.

Grayson missed the conversion and Worcester had the final say as Francois Venter scored and Jono Lance converted, but it was little consolation for the away side.

Saints: Furbank; Collins, Dingwall, Hutchinson (Symons 70), Naiyaravoro (Sleightholme 70); Grayson, Taylor (Tupai 71); Waller (c) (B Franks 55), Fish (Haywood 26), Painter (Garside 71); Moon, Coles (Bean 70); Wood, Tonks (Gibson 55), Harrison.

Worcester Warriors: Pennell; Humphreys, Beck (Venter 55), Mills (c), Nanai; Weir (Lance 55), Hougaard (Kitto 45); Waller (Black 64), Annett (Taufete'e 54), Carey (Palframan 56); Bresler, Fatialofa (Kitchener 54); Hill, Lewis, du Preez (van Velze 54).

Referee: Jack Makepeace