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Worcester Warriors v Oyonnax
This live event has finished
- WORCESTER Warriors bring down the curtain on their Amlin Challenge Cup game today with a visit from French Top 14 outfit Oyonnax (3pm).
- Warriors managed a 9-9 draw when the two sides met in France earlier in the competition, but haven't been able to secure progress out of their pool.
- Dean Ryan has named a mix of youth and experience as he protects his first XV regulars with more important battles in mind, but the Sixways side could take great benefit from a much-needed victory this afternoon.
Great for Warriors players and fans to finally be able to celebrate a victory - everyone should have a few cold ones tonight and enjoy it!— @tomguestWN 18 January 2014
@tomguestWN i hope its the win they need to kickstart their season and stay in the AP— @padsybear1 18 January 2014
Good to see whoever plays the music at Sixways has a sense of humour. Now playing? It's Getting Better Man by Oasis.— @tomguestWN 18 January 2014
Obviously, this game was a dead rubber, but the win will surely give Warriors a much-needed confidence boost.
Some impressive performances out there today too, most notably from Richard de Carpentier, Mike Williams, Sam Betty, Josh Matavesi and Dean Hammond.
Warriors gets the ball back to Mieres and he chips it out to secure Warriors' first home win in any competition since the victory over Wasps way back in March last year.
....he hits the right-hand post and Oyonnax surge upfield. Warriors infringe on the 10m line.
The French side miss touch with the penalty though. That should do it now.
Penalty to Warriors with less than three minutes to go. Mieres lines it up from centre-field on the 10m line....
TRY Oyonnax! The visitors show some fight and score a fine try as Tian leads the breakout and the backs keep the ball alive for full-back Bousquet to dive over the line. The covnersion is missed.
Warriors 20-13 Oyonnax
Sixways is coming to life a little bit now as the 11-game home losing streak looks to be coming to an end.
TRY Warriors! Mieres launches an up-and-under, Silvere Tian doesn't fancy it, but Hammond does well to catch and off-load to Max Stelling, who steps through a gap and accelerates to the line for a fine try.
Mieres can't miss now and drills home the conversion.
Warriors 20-8 Oyonnax
Mieres can't miss now! He slots another penalty (albeit a regulation one) to extend the Worcester lead.
Warriors 13-8 Oyonnax
Oyonnax over-throw the line-out, Ed Shervington grabs the ball and goes for the line. He's held up and then Richard de Carpentier goes close too, but the visitors hold out again, but they are hit for not rolling away on the next attack and Mieres has another shot at goal.
Another excellent touch-finder from Mieres.
And he makes it! Warriors lead at last.
Warriors 10-8 Oyonnax
Chance for Warriors to take the lead with another penalty. More difficult than the two Mieres missed in the first-half, but still fairly kickable.
To be fair to Mieres, he has had a bit of a shocker today, but his tactical kicking out of hand has been very good. he's just not quite consistent enough.
This is pretty hapless stuff at times from Warriors and it is often Mieres in the thick of it.
The fly-half drops back into the pocket, but can't gather the ball cleanly and has to change his mind, tries to pass to Josh Drauniniu and the ball is dropped. Another chance goes begging.
Warriors waste not just the try-scoring opportunity, but also a good six or seven minutes of the game as they are eventually penalised at the umpteenth scrum inside the Oyonnax five-metre line. A spectacular backfire by Worcester there.
Replacement prop Marc Clerc waddles on as a specialist front row replacement with du Preez in the bin. Chad Slade makes way.
Unsurprisingly, the Oyonnax seven-man scrum buckles and a penalty try must be in the referee's mind.
The referee finally runs out of patience with the Oyonnax spoiling tactics and produces a yellow card for tighthead prop Ruaan du Preez.
The Oyonnax discipline is awful at the moment as the infringe again and their scrum-half, Johann Authier, is in the thick of the trouble.
The Warriors pack turn on the power and Oyonnax are penalised again. Try in the offing for Worcester here...
Oyonnax penalised on the deck again after Warriors won the line-out. Worcester go for the scrum this time.
A penalty to Warriors after a high-tackle by last defender Chad Slade on Josh Watkins, but no yellow card. Mieres goes to the corner.
Here goes the second-half...hopefully an improvement on the first.
There goes the half-time whistle and the rain continues to fall heavily.
Warriors trail 8-7 to Oyonnax at the break, but the hosts had the better of the second part of the opening period.
Josh Watkins has had a decent game so far, but his inexperience showed there as he tried to keep an Oyonnax kick in play, but fumbled it into touch for an Oyonnax line-out inside the Warriors 10m line.
Another big scrum from Warriors, who certainly have the nudge on their opponents. Matavesi is slotting in at 10 a fair bit and he just changed the angle of attack there with a cute kick to touch on the far side.
I'd like to say it was a massive shock that Mieres missed from there, but unfortunately it isn't. A woeful effort.
RDC controls the ball well at the back of the scrum to allow the big men to turn on the power and win a big penalty. Mieres should knock this one over from straight in front...
Hammond does well to beat two Oyonnax players to Mieres' high punt - the youngster showed more desire there - and the ball is sent wide to Matavesi, who runs into the 22 and off-loads to RDC, but the back-0rower is bundled into touch.
Much more like it from Warriors now.
TRY Warriors! The referee's arm is out again and Warriors drive for the line. it looks like they are over the line, but the referee awards the penalty try, which Mieres converts (to huge, if a little ironic, cheers from the home fans). That's more like it from the hosts.
Warriors 7-8 Oyonnax
However, Worcester come back strongly, forcing a penalty in the Oyonnax 22, which Mieres kicks to touch, despite the posts being well in range. The visitors infringe again at the line-out and Mieres puts the ball back in the corner.
That was a poor try from Warriors' point-of-view - silly free-kick on their own put-in, then weak tackling to let Tebani in.
TRY Oyonnax! The visitors go wide from the scrum and after a few crunching runs from the big men, hooker Salim Tebani burrows over.
Full-back Bousquet grazes the outside of the post with his conversion attempt.
Warriors 0-8 Oyonnax
On Warriors' put-in to the scrum, Oyonnax win a free-kick and opt to have a scrum theselves.
Not straight from Oyonnax, so a let-off for Warriors.
Oyonnax now have a line-out on the Warriors 22 after an infringement from the hosts around half-way.
@tomguestWN what did you write the other day about losing important players to injury in a meaningless game?— @Bigchap27 18 January 2014
Arr fumbles the ball under pressure, but referee Claudio Blessano brings play back as Oyonnax were off-side.
From the 22 and bang in front, Mieres manages to hit the left-hand post and Oyonnax are able to clear.
Big scrum from the Warriors pack puts Oyonnax under pressure. The French outfit crumple and the two sides square up to each other. The outcome is a penalty to Warriors, but Mieres doesn't have the range of Bousquet, so goes for touch.
It's a good one, though, and Warriors have the line-out 15 metres out.
We're 12 minutes in and Warriors have had to make their second change. Senatore can't continue and Richard de Carpnetier has replaced him. The Argentine is holding his ribs, which was an injury that kept him out for several weeks earlier in the season.
Scratch that, it was full-back Jonathan Bousquet and it was a superb strike that just went through the posts.
Warriors 0-3 Oyonnax
Fly-half Nicolas Vuillemin is having a shot at goal from one metre inside his own half....
Another break in play now as Leo Senatore is down and receiving treatment, but it seems like the Argentine number eight is OK to continue.
Howard's injury has led to a back-line reshuffle for Worcester. Hammond has joined Fatiaki in midfield, with Matavesi dropping back to full-back.
Ben Howard has just been helped off by the physios - looks like a leg injury - and he has been replaced by Dean Hammond, himself returning from injury.
Mieres then misses the target with a snap-shot drop-goal attempt.
Warriors probe around half-way for a while, before Mieres finds a good kick into touch in behind right-winger Dug Codjo.
John Andress guilty of the first knock-on of the day. I don't reckon it will be the last...
Oyonnax clear a line-out from their 22 to give Warriors a line-out on the visitors' 10-metre line.
And here comes the rain!
Ignacio Mieres gets the match under way; Warriors attacking the South Stand in the first-half.
This game, understandably, has not captured the supporters' imagination - hardly anyone here at Sixways. Will be interesting to see what attendance is announced....
The Oyonnax players have taken to the field and here come the Warriors...
It seems Oyonnax have found someone to cover at hooker on the bench, but they will consequently be one replacement short.
Apparently, Oyonnax hooker Neil Clark pulled up during the warm-up, so he has been replaced in the starting XV by Salim Tebani.
However, the rumour is that Oyonnax don't have another hooker with them, so I'm not sure how that works out in terms of the ruling about having three specialist front row replacements on the bench.
Here's today's two line-ups: http://t.co/WSdYSwwBiy— @tomguestWN 18 January 2014