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Mieres shines in a blue day for Ryan’s Warriors
6:30pm Sunday 18th August 2013 in Sport
WORCESTER Warriors were denied a second consecutive pre-season victory over Cardiff Blues as the Welsh region ran out 21-17 winners at Sixways.
Dean Ryan’s men produced a workmanlike performance and led twice before Cardiff eventually turned the game around with a second-half try from Richard Smith.
Fly-half Ignacio Mieres enjoyed a fine game on his Warriors debut and racked-up four penalties but it wasn’t enough to secure a second win in four days.
Warriors director of rugby Ryan fielded a completely different starting 15 to the side which beat Rotherham Titans on Wednesday.
Cardiff, who included a string of international players in their starting line-up, heaped pressure on the Warriors early on and the home side breathed a sigh of relief when an effort from full-back Tim Williams was ruled out.
Worcester were pinned back in their own half but from their first real spell of possession they won a penalty, which Mieres converted.
Former Warriors coach Phil Davies, who was returning to Sixways for the first time since taking the director of rugby role at Cardiff in 2012, did not have to wait long for his side’s first try as flanker Macauley Cook touched down in the corner after 17 minutes.
The early try only acted as bait for Warriors, however, and they grabbed an instant reply as Josh Matavesi dived over in the corner after superb play from Chris Jones and Ed Shervington.
Filo Paulo was sent to the sin-bin after a high tackle on Mike Williams from the resulting kick-off and the home side looked to make the most of their advantage.
Matavesi and Taulava took turns to burst through the centre before Mieres scored his second penalty following a scrum infringement. Davies replied with his second penalty of the afternoon after 29 minutes to take the score to 11-8 as Cardiff searched for a win in their first pre-season game of the campaign.
Matavesi, who produced a sensational performance, danced through the opposition backline once again but the attack was brought to an end by a penalty infringement.
Warriors looked like an assured side after a summer of changes at Sixways and Argentinian star Mieres added another penalty five minutes before the break as he dominated proceedings.
The two sides continued to battle for territory as the first period came to a close and young centre Max Stelling ensured Warriors went into the break ahead with a last-ditch tackle on Robin Copeland.
Davies did, however, have time to add his third penalty which meant Cardiff trailed just 14-11 at the interval.
Cardiff introduced their up-and-coming Welsh fly-half Rhys Patchell to proceedings in the second-half and the youngster levelled the scores after 43 minutes with a close range penalty.
Josh Drauniniu, Ben Howard and Jeremy Su’a were all brought on by Worcester but it was the Welsh side who took the lead after 56 minutes as Smith took advantage of a handling error from Drauniniu to touch down under the posts.
Patchell took the score to 21-14 with a successful conversion before Mieres closed the gap with three points of his own on the hour mark.
As the second-half wore on Warriors began to assert themselves but Euan Murray was sent to the sin-bin and Cardiff hung on to their narrow victory.
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