WARRIORS ground out a 20-13 victory over Harlequins in relative comfort despite spending much of this clash on the back foot.

Marcus Smith and Duncan Weir traded penalties during a dull opening with the former missing presentable chances to kick Quins into the lead.

Nick Schonert got backed by a bustling maul to register the opening try eight minutes before half-time with Weir, back on after treatment, kicking the conversion from near touch.

Chris Pennell plundered another three from the halfway line with the last kick of the first half but Weir’s short pass to Ted Hill was intercepted by Joe Marchant who sauntered through unchallenged 16 minutes after the break.

The gap was down to three but forceful play saw Worcester hit back – albeit in controversial circumstances as Ryan Mills got the benefit of the doubt from the television match official.

Try as they might with change after change, Quins laboured in trying to force a breakthrough but gained a bonus point through James Lang’s late penalty.

Here, Andy Mitchell takes us through the talking points.


With 36 per cent possession and one or two kind calls, some might say Warriors rode their luck but who could question the fact they crafted it as well?

The never-say-die nature of the defence prevented Harlequins from making picking holes in a navy blanket with Pennell so effectively mopping up the danger when gaps appeared.

A fluent spectacle it was not but when the chips were down, Worcester fought their corner tooth and nail to highlight a pretty ineffective Quins attack.


You simply had to be chuffed for Matt Cox.

The Worcestershire-born ace, limited to 45 minutes of Premiership rugby ahead of this one, rolled with punch after punch to ensure skipper Gerrit-Jan van Velze was not missed.

Pulses in the crowd were not set racing that often but fans would have left with a spring in their step after seeing the stalwart make his mark.


Hammered for disarray at lineouts six days before, Warriors boasted a near-perfect record with a 13-out-of-14 success rate.

For good measure, Worcester snatched two from their opponents as well.

Alan Solomons said last week's issues had been sorted and his troops certainly did not let him down.


As brave as the display was, Quins’ downfall was as much to do with their own errors as what Warriors did well.

Plenty of tackles got made but there were probably a few more missed than the hosts would have liked.

While an 86 per cent success rate isn’t shabby, particularly given the volume required, you have to wonder whether a sharper attack would have cut through frequently enough to swing the pendulum.


Ryan Mills admitted he hadn’t expected his try to be given when interviewed on BT Sport after the match.

Would Chris Pennell have anticipated landing that monster kick from the halfway line?

Who knows? Who cares? The difference in this match of few standout moments was that Warriors made sure they seized theirs.

Duncan Weir’s kicking was exemplary and while Quins had twice as much ball and territory, they ended up with fewer openings.

For that reason above any other, including the tenacity with which they defended, Worcester proved to be worthy winners.