Worcester Warriors 34 Sale Sharks 34

WORCESTER will look back at this match and wonder how they failed to register their first Aviva Premiership win of the campaign.

They hit back from 17-5 down to storm into a 31-17 lead with just 27 minutes remaining in a pulsating, see-saw clash at Sixways.

Scoring five tries and racking up 34 points should be sufficient for Warriors to win games, particularly at home on their new artificial surface.

People will, no doubt, be pointing the finger of blame at Ryan Lamb, Warriors’ mercurial fly-half, for the failure to end their winless run.

But Warriors’ poor discipline at the breakdown ultimately cost them and gave Sale the freedom to launch into attacking areas and unleash their dangerous driving line-out.

The frustration on the face of Warriors head coach Carl Hogg was plain to see after the final whistle – and there’s no denying this was a golden opportunity missed by Worcester.

However, Warriors’ back-line has an abundance of attacking flair and full-back Jamie Shillcock looks a potent force.

The 19-year-old former Warwick School pupil crossed the whitewash twice in only his second Premiership appearance and even has an early contender for try of the season.

The way in which Shillcock finished off Warriors’ fifth try, after Warriors had won a turnover in their own 22 and launched an attack down the left through Cooper Vuna, was sensational.

The rookie picked up the ball from Vuna inside his own half and raced into the space left by Will Addison before forcing his way over in the corner.

Young wing Perry Humphreys also enhanced his growing reputation with another strong display and his third successive try.

With Phil Dowson skippering Warriors in his 250th Premiership appearance, Sale started at a ferocious pace.

Addison capped sustained early pressure to cross on the right and fly-half AJ MacGinty added the touchline conversion.

The USA international, who finished with 14 points, added a penalty before Warriors came to life and academy starlet Shillcock was on hand to touch down in the corner.

However, a loose pass from Lamb evaded his team-mates and Addison intercepted to run through unopposed for Sale’s second try. MacGinty’s conversion put Sale 17-5 ahead.

Warriors’ heads didn’t drop and, with Nick Schonert restored to the front row, their scrum began to dominate.

Jonny Arr dived over from close range for the hosts’ second try with Lamb converting.

Humphreys cut a line for Worcester’s third try soon afterwards to touch down under the posts and Lamb’s simple conversion gave Warriors a 19-17 half-time lead.

It got even better for Warriors 86 seconds after the restart, Wynand Olivier profiting from Lamb’s vision and diving over the line for the hosts’ bonus-point try.

Lamb’s conversion took him past the 1,000 points tally in the Premiership and Sale’s woes continued when full-back Byron McGuigan was yellow-carded for a late tackle on the fly-half in the build-up.

However, Lamb blotted his copybook by missing a fairly straightforward three-pointer soon afterwards which kept the door open for Sharks.

MacGinty’s 57th-minute penalty gave Sale renewed hope before hooker Neil Briggs burrowed over from close range and MacGinty’s conversion cut Warriors lead to 31-27.

Lamb’s penalty restored Worcester’s cushion to seven.

However, ill-discipline cost Warriors when Sale gained favourable field position from a soft penalty on halfway.

Sale replacement Halani Aulika was driven over after a line-out move and MacGinty levelled as Warriors drew their second home match in a row.