WORCESTER Warriors’ hopes of a quarter-final place in the LV= Cup remain alive despite a scrappy defeat to Wasps at Adams Park.
Both sides scored three tries, but the hosts were good value for their victory as Warriors coughed up possession far too often and struggled in the set-pieces.
The Sixways side handed their opponents the now-customary helping hand early in the contest by conceding a soft score.
The hosts turned Worcester over regularly in the first-half and, from one such steal, former Warriors full-back Hugo Southwell launched a howitzer that bounced into touch on the visitors’ 22.
However, hooker Ollie Hayes missed his man and Wasps prop Simon McIntyre capitalised to charge over the line.
Fly-half Tommy Bell added the extras and Wasps were 7-0 ahead with five minutes played. Worcester continued to cough up possession far too often but they started to pose Wasps several problems.
The hosts then went down to 14 men when scrum-half Jonah Holmes voiced his disapproval to referee Rhys Thomas over a penalty for sealing off and was promptly yellow-carded.
Joe Carlisle kicked the penalty to touch and Dean Schofield and Jake Abbott made the hard yards before the fly-half sent Alex Grove skidding over with a reverse pass.
Wasps remained ahead, though, as Carlisle contrived to miss the simple conversion. A huge slice of luck minutes later then saw Warriors take the lead.
Worcester made good progress on turn-over ball through Schofield, Blair Cowan and Richard de Carpentier but, with the try-line beckoning, scrum-half Jonny Arr appeared to fumble the ball forward.
The officials missed it and Arr found Errie Claassens, who sent Andy Short over in the corner, while Carlisle made amends with a fine conversion.
Wasps still went into the break ahead, though, thanks to two penalties from Bell.
The impressive Wasps fly-half nudged his side further ahead with another three-pointer early in the second-half before adding the conversion to winger Jack Wallace’s try as the hosts took control.
After a sluggish start to the second period, Worcester finally got their act together and scored through Ben Howard after replacement Andy Goode’s flick-pass. Carlisle added the extras to make it 23-19.
However, Warriors handed the advantage straight back as they looked to play from deep, only for Wasps to seize possession and replacement Charlie Davies was able to arc round and score in the corner.Lee Thomas missed the conversion.