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London Irish v Warriors
This live event has finished
- WARRIORS' Aviva Premiership day of reckoning has arrived as they face fellow strugglers London Irish at the Madejski Stadium this afternoon (3pm).
- The two sides are rooted to the foot of the table, but Irish go into the game with a 10-point cushion over Worcester.
- If the hosts win, it will leave Warriors starring down the barrel of relegation, but should Dean Ryan's men prevail, the Sixways side would gain renewed hope.
- It's set to be a tense match, full of twists and turns and we will keep you up to date as the action unflods.
Right, well thanks for following the blog today. There's clearly some very angry Warriors supporters out there at the moment.
Not sure what Dean Ryan can say about that, but his squad looks clueless, hopeless and heading for oblivion at the moment.
@tomguestWN luckily it's leics, northants, sale and quins next 4 in prem!— @raceyrocket 04 January 2014
@tomguestWN Meanwhile the cricket team are unbeaten since September.— @JackShantry 04 January 2014
@tomguestWN I think you may find a nice quiet retreat at a place called sixways next year, just beware the tumbleweed on the stands— @deano220 04 January 2014
RT @iancraigWN: Monday's @worcesternews sport pages are going to make for some depressing reading.— @tomguestWN 04 January 2014
I see Worcester City are losing 6-1 at the moment too. Great day for Worcester sport! A double relegation looking likely...— @tomguestWN 04 January 2014
Irish run the clock down and chip the ball out to seal the four-pointer. Warriors are now winless in 12 games and are 14 points adrift at the foot of the table.
Not sure where they go from here.... Oh yes, the Championship.
@tomguestWN wonder what excuses DR will come out with for this performance #partoftheplan— @padsybear1 04 January 2014
.... but they lose it. Just about sums today up.
Two minutes left and Warriors have a line-out in the Exiles' 22 again.
@tomguestWN i agree it you think this is the weekend Warriors will win and they let you down i even bet my hard earned cash on it today— @padsybear1 04 January 2014
Looks like @WorcsWarriors are heading for the Championship again then @tomguestWN ?! Premiership off pitch but championship on it.... Again!— @thinbenman 04 January 2014
Warriors try to get the driving line-out moving towards the line, but the ball is spilled forward in the melee...
Irish win the line-out, but are forced back to their line and O'Leary clears to touch.
Oh dear, panic sets in for Warriors and Arr goes blind fires a poor pass to Stephenson who takes it on his knees and is bundled into touch.
Another penalty, great stuff from the Warriors front row and Jamie Hagan is binned.
The Irish scrum goes down again and Barnes speaks to captain Skivington for a final warning, but no card!
Irish penalised again and Warriors opt to scrum again. All taking time out of the game, though.
Good short-side move between Betty and Shervington sees Galarza then go close and Irish infringe again. Warriors call for a scrum five metres out.
Mieres drills the ball to the corner, Warriors are in dire need of a score from this.
It's the hope that kills you, isn't it? I genuinely thought Warriors could win today, but it looks like I was well off the mark!
Good work from Warriors at last as they force Irish back and win the scrum put-in.
Line-out to Irish on the Worcester 22...
Pennell lands his kick, but Warriors still have a mountain to climb.
Irish 22-9 Warriors
@totalprat @tomguestWN exact same happened last season with the same fixture absolute disgrace repay the fans their cash— @padsybear1 04 January 2014
A raft of changes as Warriors desperately try to find a way back into the game. The visitors win a penalty and Mieres drills it to touch.
The ball goes wide and Worcester really need to go fro broke now, but they win a penalty and are kicking for goal. Not sure about that call to be honest.
@tomguestWN Us fans bothered to turn up shameful the players could not be bothered to.— @totalprat 04 January 2014
TRY Irish! Warriors just about halt the driving maul, but only by twice infringing. While Barnes plays advantage, Irish go wide and Geraghty's long pass allows James O'Connor to exploit the space and make an arcing run to the line.
O'Connor then adds the conversion.
Irish 22-6 Warriors
Geraghty drills the penalty to the corner and I think we all know what is coming next....
Warriors are getting absolutely battered up front. Impossible to get anything going as they are getting penalised at every driving loine-out. Depressing to watch for Warriors fans.
George Skivington crashes into Ofa Fainga'anuku, knocks the ball free and hacks the loose ball down field. Jonny Arr eventually dives on it, but is driven into touch by that man Skivington!
O'Connor adds further misery to Warriors with the penalty kick.
Irish 15-6 Warriors.
Pennell slices his clearance out on the 22 and, again, Warriors can't live with the Irish driving line-out and concede yet another penalty. To make matters worse, Leo Senatore is sin-binned fro dragging the maul down.
Wheels. Come. Off.
@tomguestWN are Warriors going to be the undoing of themselves with silly penalties? hope not #COYW— @padsybear1 04 January 2014
Warriors seem to be running out of ideas now. Need to step it up if they're going to get back into this game.
A really good effort, but the ball just drops under the crossbar.
Irish concede a penalty straight from the restart and Pennell is having a go at the posts from a very touch position - two metres inside the Irish half and two metres in from the touchline.
Jonny Arr on for Jeremy Su'a to make his comeback from a hamstring injury.
The Toulon-bound full-back has found his range noiw after a couple of poor early efforts.
Irish 12-6 Warriors
Another penalty to Irish as Warriors drag down a powerful maul. O'Connor fancies his chances from just outside the 10m line and left of the posts.
Warriors guilty of not releasing in the tackle 15 yards out, bang in front of the posts.
O'Connor makes no mistake to give his side the lead.
Irish 9-6 Warriors
Warwick clears left-footed, but can't make much distance. Irish throw on the 22.
@tomguestWN never going to be great but come warriors we can do this!— @JohnBlewitt2 04 January 2014
Clever kick over the top from Tomas O'Leary runs end-over-end and into touch by the corner flag.
The players are back out onto the pitch and one of Warriors' most important 40 minutes in their history coming up.
Warwick gets the half under way.
@tomguestWN you say that Guesty but I am enjoying it. ;-)— @PitSmokedBBQ 04 January 2014
@tomguestWN still in it to win it !! #COYW— @dunc13x 04 January 2014
By no means a classic, but an edgy battle between two sides both desperate for victory.
O'Connor's late penalty makes it 6-6 at the break.
From 25 metres out and just to the left of the posts, O'Connor knocks the ball over to tie the game up again.
Irish 6-6 Warriors
With 2.30 minutes left on the clock, Warriors' buckle on their own scrum put-in with Ofa Fainga'anuku looking the guilty party and hand Irish a simple chance to level the scores.
Huge line-out drive is halted just short and then tighthead prop Leo Halavatau fumbles with the line beckoning. Good defence from Warriors there, but a big let-off by Irish.
Geraghty drills a penalty late in the half to touch in the Warriors 22.
Lovely strike from Pennell, straight through the middle and Warriors lead. I haven't typed that very often this season!
Irish 3-6 Warriors
Brooker firing good darts so far and quick ball off the top leads to a penalty in midfield as Irish dip their hands into the ruck. Pennell going for goal...
Irish clear from the scrum, but Warriors have a line-out five metres inside the hosts' half.
A superb break from Warwick leads Warriors from defence to attack in the blink of an eye. Drauniniu, Grove and Pennell are all invovled, but as a try looks likely, the full-back's off-load goes to ground.
Poor tactical kicking from Warriors' half-backs is really stopping the visitors from building any momentum at the moment.
The home fans didn't like that one. Jimmy Stephenson is caught man-and-ball by Saliosi Tagicakibau, but Barnes awards the penalty to the visitors.
Irish have a penalty in their 22 as Richard de Carpentier takes out James O'Connor in their air as the Aussie looked to gather Warwick's up-and-under. More accidental than malicious from the Warriors man, so no card.
A much better kick by Warwick that time, floating over his countryman's head. It doesn't find touch though, but the clearance doesn't go far.
Another miss for O'Connor, this time from the left side of the field. Score remains 3-3.
Chris Pennell claims a mark in his own 22, but Wayne Barnes pulls play back again, this time for an Irish penalty.
Terrible kick from Warwick as he looks to kick for territory. Far too much on it and it lands in the stands. Line-out Irish mid-way through Warriors' half.
First glimpses of O'Connor stardust their as he skips through tackles into the Warriors half, but the ball goes forward as Irish look to recycle.
The on-song full-back strokes his first attempt through the posts to level the scores.
Irish 3-3 Warriors
Warwick chips cross-field to Stephenson, who is halted in his tracks, but referee Wayne Barnes comes back for the penalty. Skipper Chris Pennell on goal-kicking duties today.
A better spell from Warriors as they have their first real foray into the Irish half. Warwick makes a break wide and his grubber kick deflects into touch for a Worcester line-out.
Brooker throws long to Senatore and the drives rumbles towards the line, but Irish get back, slow things down and end up with the scrum put-in.
Irish carry the ball out from the restart, so Warriors have a line-out on the home 22...
It's a better contact this time by O'Connor from a similar position and the ball sails through the posts.
Irish 3-0 Warriors
All a bit scrappy on the floor at the moment, but Irish will have another shot at goal after Leonardo Senatore is lazy and goes in at the side of a ruck.
Warriors are penalised again after the steam runs out of their ruck defence and they are hit for pulling it down as Irish start to gain forward momentum.
Line-out to Irish in the Worcester 22.
Warwick takes too long on his 22 and is charged-down, but Pennell is on hand to slide in and clear the danger. Let-off for Worcester there.
Also, Blair Cowan has started well and it prominent at the breakdown.
Missed! The full-back pulls his shot across the face of goal.
The first penalty goes to Irish and they will have a shot at goal through Aussie James O'Connor after Warriors went in at the side of a ruck.
A fairly low-key start so far with both sides knocking on and handing over possession.
Here we go then!
London Irish fly-half Shane Geraghty gets the game under way.
The Warriors players have just finished their warm-up drills and have just headed back to the dressing room for a last-minute team-talk.
The Irish players are still out on the pitch going through their various pre-match routines.
Also, it is a gloomy old day here, the floodlights are on already and the rain looks set in for the afternoon.
I'm not expecting a feast of flowing rugby, but it could well be an absorbing contest nonetheless.
The trouble with Irish playing at the huge Madjeski Stadium here in Reading is that it always looks empty.
It's difficult to tell how many Warriors fans have made the trip, but London Irish said yesterday that there had been a surge of ticket sales for Worcester supporters.
Half-an-hour to the big kick-off here at the Madjeski Stadium....
No-one likes a smart-arse....!
@tomguestWN @worcesternews I thought that was a fantastic performance, great win. Season starts now. #Earlythoughts— @MikeJ_A 04 January 2014
@tomguestWN Got a good feeling about today really think @WorcsWarriors will get the win and deny LI a bonus point as well hopefully.— @totalprat 04 January 2014
RT @LiRFC: Here are the starting @LiRFC @WorcsWarriors line-up for this afternoon kick off is 45minutes away. #COYI http://t.co/zo5rxwMKhr— @tomguestWN 04 January 2014
There will be a familiar face for Warriors fans in the Irish team today as former Sixways favourite Blair Cowan starts in the Exiles' back row.
Read his thoughts on today's clash here.
In other Warriors-related news away from today's game, South Africa-born Welsh international back-rower Andries Pretorius has agreed to join Worcester from Cardiff Blues for next season.
I spoke to the new recruit this week and you can read my exclusive interview here.
@tomguestWN that's a shame, would love to see the big man back— @titansrugbynews 04 January 2014
@tomguestWN he's getting a bit injury prone— @Zander1967 04 January 2014
There has been a late change for Warriors to the side's announced below, with Semisi Taulava dropping out and being replaced on the bench by Cam Goodhue.
@tomguestWN first away game of the season for me and I have hope we can win #coyw @WorcsWarriors @premrugby— @luke_hamblett 04 January 2014
@tomguestWN Guesty, never thought I'd read such a proclamation. Supporting from afar, I hope you're proved right. #coyw— @BigBreakers 04 January 2014
@tomguestWN just packing the rucksack with hot chocolate and mince pies, I'd better put a few more in then. #coyw— @biffosmith14 04 January 2014
@tomguestWN will be close but for once i am going for away win by 3— @JohnBlewitt2 04 January 2014
@tomguestWN hope so it is now or never very winable game good luck warriors— @JohnBlewitt2 04 January 2014
I'm really looking forward to today's game - Warriors have been making gradual, yet consistent, improvements in recent weeks and maybe, just maybe, this could be their day.
Irish have fared little better than Worcester this season and all the pressure will be on them as the home side today.
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