DUNCAN Weir showed nerves of steel to land a 98th minute match-winning conversion that completed a stunning second-half fightback by Worcester Warriors against 11-man Bath.

After 18 minutes of added time that featured three yellow cards and numerous scrums Weir added the extras to Bryce Heem’s last-gasp try to clinch a remarkable victory in one of the longest matches in Gallagher Premiership history.

Bath were seemingly in control as they led 19-3 at half-time thanks to a Zach Mercer score and 14 points from the boot of Freddie Burns.

But the visitors’ high penalty count proved decisive as Ross Batty saw red on 64 minutes after Heem's first try before Max Lahigg, Lucas Noguera and Aled Brew were all sin-binned in an epic finale.

Sports reporter Geoff Berkeley picked out five talking points from Saturday’s victory at Sixways.


Camped on Bath’s five-metre line for more than 20 minutes Warriors turned the screw in the scrum.

A penalty try looked ominous when Noguera became the third front row replacement to be carded.

But with Warriors unable to gain enough momentum in the set-piece referee Ian Tempest reckoned Bath were not illegally stopping a certain try – a correct decision within the laws of the game.

Arguably the most contentious call by Tempest came when Brew tackled Ryan Mills from an offside position.

With three Warriors players in space, waiting to collect Mills’ pass to score it appeared to be a stonewall penalty try.

But Tempest instead brandished Brew a yellow card and said he felt there was cover despite there being no Bath player out wide – a poor call in my view.


In the first 40 minutes it was Warriors’ penalty count that was their undoing. Four of their seven penalties were converted by Burns while lock Michael Fatialofa was sin-binned for a shoulder charge at the ruck on 20 minutes.

But it was a different story after the break with Worcester cleaning up their act with only one penalty conceded and Bath being made to pay for their ill-discipline.

The away side chalked up a whopping 19 penalties, 14 of those coming in the second period and most of those coming in the final moments.

Batty’s sending off also proved key for what Tempest described as a “prolonged neck roll” on Sam Lewis whose head was deemed to have been driven to the ground.


This memorable victory should not gloss over what was a sorry opening period for Warriors who looked far too predictable in attack with one-off running.

Only Heem showed caused any real damage to Bath’s defence before boss Alan Solomons unleashed Marco Mama.

The fit-again back rower gave Warriors’ the extra impetus they needed as he proved difficult to stop when he got the ball in his hands.

After a disappointing display from scrum-half Francois Hougaard the experienced Jonny Arr managed the closing stages brilliantly while Mills made an impact off the bench.

There were also strong contributions from Warriors’ replacement tight five as they scrummed their hearts out.


Heem was the star of the show with two tries but Weir also deserves a huge pat on the back for sealing the victory with the last kick of the game.

The pressure was on the Scotland international when he stepped up to the tee after Heem went over to level the scores.

But Weir whose late misses have cost Worcester points this season, including a miscued, last-gasp drop goal attempt in the opening day defeat to Wasps made no mistake this time, sparking wild celebrations.


At half-time Worcester looked on course for a fourth straight league loss that would have left the Sixways faithful fearing the worst.

But Warriors’ grit and determination to win at the death has now given them renewed hope.

With bottom club Newcastle Falcons crashing to a 38-17 defeat to in-form Harlequins at Kingston Park Solomons’ side moved four points clear of the drop zone.

This epic late triumph was just what the doctor ordered for Warriors who will look to advance in the European Challenge Cup and Premiership Cup before league action returns on Saturday, February 16.