A LAST-GASP drop goal from Ryan Mills sealed Worcester Warriors’ place in the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup and condemned Ospreys to a rare defeat at the Liberty Stadium.

Ospreys had won all but one of their 10 outings on home soil this season and were on course for another victory when they responded to Jonny Arr’s early score to move 15-7 in front at half-time.

After Warriors rallied with tries from Ollie Lawrence and Dean Hammond the hosts then edged ahead once more with a 75th minute Sam Davies penalty.

But Mills came to Worcester’s rescue with his kick not only clinching victory but guaranteeing top spot in Pool Two and a place in the knock-out stages for the first time since 2009.

Sports reporter Geoff Berkeley picks out the five talking points from Saturday’s win.


It looked like being an afternoon to forget for Lawrence when Ospreys wing Keelan Giles pounced on his loose pass before going over in the corner.

The young centre was then unable to halt George North who offloaded to Olly Cracknell to cross for Ospreys’ second.

But the 19-year-old who will hope to experience more ups than downs in his career bounced back in fine style.

Eight minutes into the second half Mills fed Lawrence who used his all pace and power to weave his way over the whitewash and spark a Warriors fightback.

Lawrence was forced off on 55 minutes with cramp.

But this came after another lung-busting break as he tried to get away from North before losing his footing just metres from try-line.


While Northampton Saints and Clermont played out a 13-try thriller Warriors and Ospreys were embroiled in what at times felt like a game of ‘kick tennis’.

It was not the style of rugby the crowd had hoped to see but it proved to be a key battle in the contest.

Head coach Rory Duncan was wary of Ospreys’ tactical kicking game prior to the encounter and the home side appeared to be winning the opening exchanges with almost all of Worcester’s backs making mistakes with the boot.

But Warriors stuck to their game plan and eventually got their rewards as Arr, Mills and Scott van Breda who had been deliberately dropped back to counter Ospreys’ kicks began to find their range.


With contract talks yet to begin Arr is facing a fight to extend his Sixways stay.

The long-serving scrum-half had slipped down the pecking order at the start of the season but is now showing boss Alan Solomons what he is made of.

After making an impact off the bench in last week’s win over Bath Arr executed Warriors’ plan brilliantly with a smart kicking game from deep.

The 30-year-old also showed his speed and finishing skills when he caught up with Darren Barry to cross before demonstrating his passing range with a looping delivery to Hammond who went over in the second half.


This comeback triumph did not finish in the 18th minute of added time but it was just as sweet as last Saturday’s epic 21-19 win over Bath.

When Matt Cox was penalised for a high tackle and Davies slotted home the resultant penalty on 75 minutes Warriors looked set for a frustrating loss.

But the visitors responded in the most dramatic fashion.

After good work from the forwards Mills dropped into the pocket, received Michael Heaney's pass and sent the ball through the posts via the hand of an Ospreys player.

It was a moment to savour for Warriors and for stand-in captain Mills who produced a man-of-the-match display at fly-half.


After reaching the final in 2008 and semi-final in 2009 the Sixways faithful probably did not expect to wait a decade to see their side in the knock-out stages again.

But Worcester finally ended their drought with four wins from five games including a double over second-placed Ospreys.

The next step for Solomons’ men will be to secure a quarter-final at Sixways with a home success over Stade Francais next Saturday (1pm).

Based on their final points tally four of the five group winners will host a last-eight tie.

As things stand Warriors sit in fourth, one point ahead of Pool Five leaders Harlequins.