Worcester Warriors 11 Newcastle Falcons 9

WORCESTER Warriors picked up their first Aviva Premiership win of the season in an error-strewn display against Newcastle Falcons at Sixways.

Carl Hogg’s side struggled badly on their own line-out and will feel relieved to have ended up victorious in a hard-fought match which was low on quality.

An opportunist first-half try from Wynand Olivier proved the difference between the sides as Warriors were guilty of conceding too many penalties.

Worcester dominated the scrum exchanges but their line-out creaked badly against a competitive Falcons side, who lacked a cutting edge.

Falcons started strongly and Warriors’ defence had to withstand a three-minute spell of multi-phase possession on the edge of their own 22.

Warriors’ defence held firm but dropped passes from Jackson Willison and Perry Humphreys denied them the opportunity to secure possession and build momentum in the first 15 minutes.

Falcons continued to threaten but centre Juan Pablo Socino dropped the ball under pressure from a dangerous scrum close to Warriors’ line.

Warriors kept their defensive shape and took the lead against the run of play in the 19th minute.

Bravery from Willison intercepted a hospital pass from Sinoti Sinoti to Dominic Waldouck and Tom Heathcote picked up the loose ball for Olivier to run through from about 20 metres.

Heathcote missed the touchline conversion and then Newcastle's Mike Delany was off target with a long-range penalty soon afterwards.

Delany had an easier penalty attempt in the 24th minute after Warriors penalty count rose at the breakdown and slotted the three-pointer.

Warriors struggled to get any fluidity into their play although a neat passing move brought Cooper Vuna into the game.

His chip ahead was well read by Falcons full-back Simon Hammersley.

Vuna hobbled from the field after a collision with Falcons lock Evan Olmstead and was replaced by academy wing Josh Adams in the 36th minute.

Falcons dominated territory throughout the opening 40 minutes but Warriors increased their advantage on the stroke of half-time.

Heathcote burst through midfield with a jinking run and, after Falcons were pinged at the breakdown, the fly-half slotted the simple penalty to give the hosts a flattering 8-3 interval lead.

Warriors should have further extended their advantage early in the second period after the home pack drove Falcons back at the scrum.

However, Heathcote sliced his kick wide from about 30 metres.

Handing errors from both sides punctuated the start of the second half as Warriors’ line-out creaked under scrutiny from the visitors.

Replacement Ryan Lamb had an immediate impact after Falcons were penalised at the breakdown and his three-pointer nudged Warriors 11-3 in front after 52 minutes.

Warriors’ pack drove back the Falcons at their own scrum moments later but, with Lamb at the edge of his range, the ball drifted under the posts.

Falcons fly-half Delany slotted his second penalty in the 63rd minute to cut Worcester’s cushion to 11-6.

Newcastle tried to increase the tempo and a break from Micky Young caught Warriors defence too tight at a ruck and only a forward pass at the death denied them a certain try.

Worcester’s malfunctioning line-out kept coughing up possession and a penalty in the 75th minute from replacement Joel Hodgson gave Falcons a lifeline.

However, Warriors held on to their narrow lead and there was relief all-round at Sixways when referee Tom Foley blew the final whistle to give Hogg his first Premiership win in charge.