Worcester Warriors 20 Newcastle Falcons 23

THREE games in and this season already has a familiar feel about it as Worcester Warriors prop up the Gallagher Premiership table.

While many pundits wrote Warriors off before a ball had been passed there was a sense among supporters that Alan Solomons had assembled a squad capable of upsetting the odds.

But after three defeats on the spin and with daunting trips to Leicester Tigers and Exeter Chiefs to come those nagging fears of another campaign battling to beat the drop are rearing their ugly head once again.

Unlike last term Worcester have got three points on the board at this stage yet it could so easily be more had they taken their opportunities as Newcastle Falcons became the latest team to make Solomons’ men pay for their mistakes.

On numerous occasions Warriors gave themselves a lineout to launch an attack from only to see the chance squandered as throws from hookers Joe Taufete’e and Jack Singleton failed to hit the target.

Worcester also conceded two sloppy tries in the opening 12 minutes and allowed Newcastle to score three points when they were down to 13 men.

The hosts did pull off a piece of brilliance on 50 minutes when Duncan Weir pounced on a grubber kick from Ryan Mills to score. But this was a rare moment of invention and execution as Worcester struggled to click in attack.

Only Bryce Heem, Chris Pennell and Marco Mama stepped up to the plate as far too many players under performed on a day when they needed to deliver.

After defeats to Wasps and Sale Sharks Worcester took on a Newcastle team who were sat one place below them in the table.

Sixways has also been an unhappy hunting ground for Falcons having won just once in their previous 10 visits.

But they got off to a flier thanks to powerhouse prop Sami Mavinga on five minutes. The Frenchman stormed through Worcester’s defence before feeding scrum-half Sonatane Takulua who eased over the whitewash.

Sloppy defending was costing Worcester as Falcons exploited another gap with wing Sinoti Sinoti racing home after gathering Toby Flood’s pass. Flood converted both tries to give Newcastle a 14-0 lead.

But Warriors responded well with Heem making a stunning break down the right. A powerful scrum then earned the hosts a penalty which Weir dispatched.

A malfunctioning lineout was also hurting Worcester but with Falcons’ penalty count rising referee Wayne Baynes sin-binned hooker George McGuigan for collapsing a maul.

Newcastle then suffered a double blow on the stroke of half-time as centre Johnny Williams was yellow carded for a deliberate knock-on and Warriors were awarded a penalty try.

It was a big boost for Worcester who trailed Newcastle by just four points at half-time and would start the first seven minutes of the second period with a two-man advantage.

But the depleted visitors struck first with Flood landing a three-pointer after Sam Lewis was pinged for slowing the ball down.

Worcester got back on level terms at 17-17 when Weir touched down Mills’ clever kick before adding the extras.

Flood edged his side ahead when he fired home from the tee after Darren Barry was penalised for tackling a man without the ball.

With 11 minutes to go Pennell kept his cool to convert a penalty from just inside Falcons’ half only for his long-range effort to be cancelled out by Flood after Worcester were caught offside.

Warriors finished the match on the front foot as they secured an attacking lineout at the death. But Jono Lance knocked on to dash Worcester’s hopes of a dramatic winner.