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Worcester Warriors 23-24 Bath
THERE was familiar heartache for Warriors supporters at Sixways this afternoon as Olly Barkley booted a last-kick-of-the-game penalty to snatch a 24-23 victory for Bath in this Aviva Premiership opener.
Worcester threw away several winning positions at the end of games last season and it was a case of déjà vu today, but head coach Richard Hill’s side were a vastly-improved team to the one that took the field last term.
Ultimately, a crazy spell in the opening 12 minutes of the second-half when Worcester conceded six penalties without reply saw Bath erase the 15-6 half-time deficit and steal the momentum.
Warriors thought they’d won it after getting their noses back in front through James Percival’s try, before Andy Goode made it 23-21 with 90 seconds to go.
However, young referee Luke Pearce penalised Worcester at the breakdown from the final play and Barkley made it eight kicks out of eight to win the game at the death.
Hill said: “Ultimately, we conceded the penalties that cost us the game. Other than that, Bath played exactly as we thought they would and I think our game-plan was executed very well.
“By and large, we dealt with their kicks very well and we were comfortably in the lead at half-time and we should have scored a try that would have really put them away.
“However, in that crazy spell after half-time when we conceded six penalties to nil and that brought Bath right back into it at 15-15.
“That was the disappointing part, as well as a lack of composure right at the end. All we had to do was to take the restart, but there was a little bit of over-anxiousness as to who was going to take it and Andy Goode ended up kicking it when we needed to keep it for a minute, before putting it off the park.
“The the touch judge gave a call of in at the side on the back foot and that killed us. It was a game we should have won and we lost it ourselves.”