WORCESTER Warriors saw their five-match winning streak end but they put in an impressive shift to snatch a point at Saracens in the Premiership Cup.

Tries from Scott van Breda and Matti Williams along with a brave defensive display gave Worcester a hard-earned 12-10 lead at half-time.

Saracens pulled clear thanks to a double from Ali Crossdale but Tom Howe and Wynand Olivier touched down to secure a try bonus point for Worcester.


It was always going to be a tough ask for Worcester as their youthful side came up against the likes of first-team stars Will Skelton, Schalk Burger and Marcelo Bosch.

The average age of Worcester’s 23-man squad was 24 with eight players aged 21 and under ­— but they refused to be overawed.

It took Sarries 23 minutes before they opened the scoring with a try from ex-South Africa international Burger.

However the visitors held their own with van Breda touching down Howe’s grubber kick moments later.

And they hit straight back after Alex Lewington went over as Williams brilliantly finished in the corner to give Worcester the lead at the break.

Even when a three-try burst in the first 13 minutes of the second half gave Sarries a 29-12 advantage Warriors kept plugging away.

And they were rewarded with tries from Howe and Olivier either side of Crossdale’s second to clinch a bonus point.


Director of rugby Alan Solomons’ decision to field a weakened side ahead of their return to Premiership action next weekend was vindicated with a number of injuries in a bruising encounter.

Zac Xiourouppa, who was making his first appearance for Worcester since October 2016, was the first to go down inside the first six minutes.

The injury-plagued 21-year-old appeared to land awkwardly on his left leg when van Breda’s penalty came off the post and looked in real pain.

Prop Ryan Bower was also helped off the field on 22 minutes after being rocked back in a scrum and Warriors’ injury problems increased after the break.

Lock Andrew Kitchener suffered a blow to his head, leading to a lengthy stoppage before leaving the field on a stretcher.


Williams put in another try-scoring performance in the Premiership Cup to push his case for a place in the Premiership team.

The ex-hooker announced himself with a break inside the opening seven minutes before producing a fine finish to brush past Calum Clark and touch down in the corner.

Sam Lewis might be Warriors’ nailed-on first-choice openside flanker but Williams is knocking on the door to at least get a spot on the bench.


Nick David was playing for Birmingham Moseley at Loughborough Students in National One last weekend.

But the 20-year-old, making his first-team debut, stepped up to the mark as he showed quick feet in attack and tenacity in defence.

He was not afraid to tackle Sarries’ big forwards and his brave performance was summed up at the death when he chased back to deny Max Malins who looked set to score.

With Ted Hill and Ollie Lawrence making the step up to the big stage this season, David looks like another academy ace to watch out for.


Warriors called on Birmingham Moseley pair Lewis Bean and James Williams and thrust them straight into the starting line-up.

Lock Bean added power to Warriors’ scrum and did not look out of place as he came up against powerhouse Skelton.

His Moseley team-mate James Williams also put in an 80-minute shift, carrying hard and went close to scoring before Matti Williams touched down in the corner.

Hartpury hooker Jordan Liney was set to feature for Worcester only to be ruled out through illness on the morning of the game.

Warriors: DAVID 8; Hammond 8, Olivier 7, J Williams 7, Howe 8; van Breda 7, Baldwin 6 (Arr 41, 6); Bower 6 (Waller 23, 6), Cutting 7, Kerrod 6 (Mudariki 41, 6), Bean 7, Kitchener 7 (Fa’osiliva 42, 6), Xiourouppa (Scott 6, 7), M Williams 8, Cox 7. Not used: Rigby, Hearle, Scully.

Saracens: Gallagher; Crossdale, Bosch, Morris, Lewington; Malins, Whiteley; Barrington, Tolofua, Judge, Day, Skelton, Clark, Burger, Earl. Replacements: Woolstencroft, Adams-Hale, Sasagi, van Zyl, Kpoku, Rhodes, Taylor, Tompkins.

Referee: M O’Grady.