WORCESTER Warriors gave Saracens a first-half fright but left Allianz Park empty-handed after slipping to a third successive Gallagher Premiership defeat.

Tries from Duncan Weir and Ben Te’o saw Warriors open up a 14-0 lead inside the first 13 minutes and they held a six-point advantage at the break.

But Worcester were second best in the second period as the hosts turned pressure into points.

Owen Farrell converted Calum Clark’s try to give Sarries the lead for the first time in the match before David Strettle went over with 13 minutes left.

Sports reporter Geoff Berkeley picked out five talking points from Saturday’s defeat.


After last week’s horror show against Northampton Saints not many, if any, gave Alan Solomons’ men much chance of getting anything from Allianz Park.

But Worcester were positive from the first whistle and they almost pulled off one of the shocks of 2018.

Half-back duo Francois Hougaard and Weir who were guilty of gifting Saints intercept tries combined for the first score. Hougaard reacted quickly to pounce on a loose ball before feeding Weir who finished in the corner.

The visiting supporters were then in dreamland when Perry Humphreys burst through and presented the ball on a plate for Te’o to dot down for Worcester’s second.


Although Mako Vunipola crashed over from a driving maul and Farrell landed a couple of penalties Worcester were still well positioned at half-time leading 17-11.

But Saracens, still smarting from their loss at Exeter Chiefs last week, had too much for their opponents as they had 74 per cent territory in the second half.

Mistakes were also creeping into Worcester’s game as Clark and Strettle broke through to score.

After an impressive first-half display Warriors deserved at least a bonus point but Weir saw his late penalty from 40 metres out drift wide.

It was a frustrating way to end the match but the Sixways side showed plenty of positive signs ahead of next Saturday’s showdown with Bath at Sixways (3pm).


When Warriors keep hold of the ball they are a very dangerous side and proved that at Sarries.

Not only did they carry well through the likes of centre Te’o and tighthead prop Gareth Milasinovich but the back-line also looked back to its fluent best.

Hougaard is most effective when he runs with ball in hand and the scrum-half sparked several attacks in the first half.

But there is still a tendency to kick away possession – which they did far too often against Saints – and when it’s not accurate that’s when Sarries hurt Worcester.


It’s been a long wait to see Te’o pull on a Worcester jersey and his unavailability through injury or international commitments has irked fans.

But like him or not the club’s marquee player is a powerful athlete.

Making his first start for Warriors this season, Te’o took only a few minutes to make his presence felt as he clattered forward, needing several Saracens men to stop him.

The England international was also on hand to score Worcester’s second try after being brilliantly set up by Humphreys.


Along with Te’o, who took Ryan Mills’ place, there were several other Warriors players that grasped their chance.

Humphreys, Milasinovich and Pierce Phillips all shone after replacing Josh Adams, Nick Schonert and Michael Fatialofa respectively.

The withdrawal of Fatialofa due to illness came on the morning of the game and could have dashed Solomons’ plans.

But the lineout which badly malfunctioned against Northampton was managed brilliantly by Phillips who also tackled and carried well.

Humphreys cut an excellent line through Saracens’ defence before teeing up Te’o while Milasinovich did not put a foot wrong in the scrum and was powerful in the loose.