Worcester Warriors 6 Northampton Saints 32: Tom Vickers' review and player ratings

As fans flooded out of Sixways on Friday night, M People's Moving On Up blared out.

Saturday, 22nd December 2018, 12:33 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:41 am
Luther Burrell put the seal on proceedings with a deserved score (pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)

For Saints, the song was so apt as they had just secured a victory that lifted them from 10th to sixth in the Gallagher Premiership standings.

But for Worcester, it would only have added to the agony that their woeful showing inspired among the home support.

The Warriors faithful grew more and more frustrated with their team as the game wore on.

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And the final whistle will have been something of a relief after an error-strewn and ill-disciplined display.

But the fact that was what they produced under the Friday night lights owes much to Saints.

Because Chris Boyd's men rocked up and delivered a superb away-day showing.

They took the points when they were on offer, building scoreboard pressure during the formative stages of the match.

Teimana Harrison was in the thick of the action once again

They were 9-0 and 12-3 up, putting Worcester under the pump.

And that burden of having to fight back can get to the best of teams, not just ones who have won only three of their previous nine league games.

What happened to Worcester is what we've seen happen to Saints on so many occasions in recent times.

They fell behind and then paid the price for chasing the game.

Dan Biggar produced a fantastic display at fly-half

And after they tried to force things in attack, there was certainly no chasing Cobus Reinach as the Saints speedster raced away to score a key try.

The timing of it was vital as Saints were just starting to feel a little heat, with their lead cut to six points and Worcester knocking loudly on the door.

But Reinach pouched a pass deep inside his own half and put his foot on the accelerator, once again showing why he is so dangerous with clear ground in front of him.

Luther Burrell also bagged an intercept score before the end as Worcester continued to hand out gifts four days before Christmas.

Alex Waller co-captained Saints at Sixways

But they were just what Saints deserved for their early dominance, which continued through most of the game.

They may have suffered the disruption of lengthy delays in Romania a week earlier, but there could be an argument for spending more weekends in Timisoara after this display.

Because not only was there a real appetite for the action, but there was also a stability about their showing that certainly hasn't been seen too often this season.

They did many of the basics right, with the half-backs managing the game superbly.

And though they struggled at the scrum, with Worcester certainly having the upper hand in that department, it wasn't to matter as their control outside of the set piece was so strong.

They looked a far better side than Worcester, which will surprise some as the two teams were locked on 17 points apiece prior to this game.

Saints are now four ahead of the Warriors and they must continue to stretch that over the coming weeks as they look to pull clear of the relegation scrap.

But for now, they will simply want to enjoy the Christmas cheer that their impressive win at Sixways has inspired.

How they rated...


Stopped Worcester from getting any momentum as he looked secure under the high ball and positioned himself well enough... 6


Looked lively on the counter-attack, forcing Worcester to scramble on a few occasions as he tried to break their line... 7


Produced an all-action performance, especially during the first half, and finished things off with a deserved score... 8


Was sharp once again, trying to sidestep the Worcester defence at centre and, briefly, fly-half as he continued his improvement in Saints colours... 7


Wasn't really able to get too involved in attack, aside from one fine finish that was ruled out, but he stood tall whenever he was called upon in defence... 6


Kicked every point possible from the tee and even attempted a couple of drop goals, too. He was typically brilliant under the high ball, delivering a display that showcased his class... 9


An exceptional showing from the scrum-half, who not only scored a sensational intercept try but who also proved key in defence, making a try-saving stop... 9


Didn't get much of a chance to clash with his brother as he was withdrawn just after Ethan came on, but had his work cut out in the scrum before that... 6


Stayed on the field for almost the entire game, helping to push his side to what eventually proved to be a very comfortable victory... 7


Not the easiest night for Saints at scrum time but the prop put himself about in open play, looking hungry for action... 6


Aside from one rush of blood to the head when he back-chatted the referee, this man was hugely positive for Saints once again, putting in another big display... 7


Did knock on a couple of times but more than made up for that with some great physicality that Worcester struggled to deal with... 7


Tried to get involved at every turn, topping the Saints tackle count with nine, refusing to miss a single one... 7


A quieter evening for the flanker but there was no lack of effort as he always looked to disrupt Worcester... 6


Another eventful night for the No.8, who was constantly doing his best to put Worcester on the back foot, smashing into tackles and trying to carry hard... 7

Replacements (who played more than 20 minutes)


Produced one key charge-down that eventually led to a Saints penalty and certainly wasn't shy when it came to involving himself in the match... 6

BEN FRANKS (for Hill 54)

A decent cameo from the prop and his experience was useful as Saints eventually got the better of Worcester... 6