Worcester Warriors 24 Harlequins 17

AN outstanding display from fly-half Ryan Mills led Worcester Warriors to a precious 24-17 Aviva Premiership win over Harlequins on a bitterly cold afternoon at Sixways.

The versatile back kicked 14 points and controlled proceedings for Warriors who picked up only their second league win of the campaign.

England centre Ben Te’o gave his best display of the season, scoring an early second-half try as Quins’ winless streak on the road continued.

Warriors made a bright start, winning their first three line-outs and Te’o seeing plenty of crash ball in midfield.

Worcester engineered an early attacking line-out after a neat kick through from Mills but lost possession as they drove to within 10 metres of the visitors line.

They kept up the early pressure and after Joe Marchant had been penalised at the breakdown Mills dispatched the penalty to the corner.

The hosts claimed the line-out and after driving towards the line switched play to the left where Dean Hammond, in acres of space, collected Mills’ long pass to dive over in the corner.

Mills’ touchline conversion gave Warriors a 7-0 lead after eight minutes.

Worcester maintained the intensity with Te’o continuing to use his power and it was no surprise when they increased their advantage in the 20th minute.

With Chris Robshaw receiving treatment for an injury, Quins’ stretched defence were forced to concede a penalty.

Mills fired his three-pointer between the posts.

Warriors started to get the upper-hand at the scrum and increased their lead further after driving back Quins’ pack at their own put-in in the 29th minute.

Mills’ monster penalty from just inside the away half split the posts to give Worcester a deserved 13-0 lead.

Quins finally had their first spell of pressure after half-an-hour and lock Darren Barry was dispatched to the sin-bin after Warriors were guilty of pulling down two driving line-outs in quick succession.

The visitors continued to threaten but Warriors turned over another driving line-out and broke from their own 22 with a swift counter attack.

From the resulting line-out, Warriors secured possession.

Te’o was held up just short of the line and referee Luke Pearce yellow-carded Joe Marler for diving over the top.

Mills’ third penalty stretched Worcester’s cushion to 16-0 at the interval with Quins and Wales centre Jamie Roberts hobbling off with an injury.

With the visitors still down to 14 men, Warriors started where they left off in the first period.

Te’o powered over in the corner for their second try within three minutes of the restart.

Mills missed the conversion but Warriors led 21-0.

The hosts’ dominance at the set-piece continued with another penalty award at the scrum but Mills’ attempt struck the far post and bounced to safety.

Quins were handed a lifeline in the 59th minute after Warriors conceded a soft penalty in midfield.

The London club capped a sustained spell of pressure with lock Charlie Matthews finally burrowing over the line from close-range and replacement Tim Swiel adding the conversion.

Warriors withstood a brief surge from the visitors before Mills’ fourth penalty in the 67th minute extended the hosts’ advantage to 24-7.

With Warriors tiring, Quins started to play with width.

They grabbed their second try with four minutes remaining as Alofa Alofa touched down in the corner and Swiel converted.

Quins snatched a losing bonus point through Swiel’s penalty at the death but it was too late to dampen Warriors’ victory spirits.