WORCESTER Warriors booked their place in the Premiership Rugby Cup semi-finals with another stunning comeback which swept them to a dramatic bonus-point victory in this derby.

Warriors needed to win by more than two points and with a bonus point to finish as top seed but that appeared unlikely after Wasps full-back Rob Miller crossed six minutes into the second half to put the visitors 13-9 ahead.

But Worcester responded with four tries in a 15-minute purple patch, two of them from Bryce Heem, which took them beyond the last 16 of the competition in its various guises for the first time.

Warriors now host Saracens in the semi-finals at Sixways on Friday (7.45pm).

The final scoreline reflected Warriors’ domination but they had to work hard for the win against a powerful side.

Warriors were committed to playing attacking rugby throughout but until their try blitz they had to rely on the dead eye kicking of Duncan Weir to peg Wasps back.

The Sixways hosts dominated the opening quarter but could not turn their pressure into points and Wasps took the lead against the run of play with an interception try.

Warriors had worked hard in attack but a lapse of concentration near halfway led to winger Josh Bassett snaffling the ball and sprinting clear for an unconverted try.

Worcester set out their stall to score tries but had to rely on the accurate place kicking of Weir to get them into the match.

The Scotland international fly-half struck with a 22nd-minute penalty which was immediately cancelled out by one from his Wasps counterpart Lima Sopoaga after Warriors failed to claim the restart kick.

Weir pulled back another three points after 27 minutes and gave Warriors the lead two minutes from half-time.

Warriors thought they had scored a try when a swift attack from a lineout sent Dean Hammond over in the corner.

But referee Michael Hudson conferred with TMO David Grashoff who spotted a knock-on and the try was wiped out and replaced with a penalty under the posts for an offside earlier in the attack.

With lengthy injury stoppages for treatment to Jake Cooper-Woolley and Nick Schonert, who failed a HIA, the first half lasted 55 minutes.

Miller’s try after another incisive run from Bassett was almost followed by another after Joe Simpson intercepted.

But Warriors managed to scramble back and escaped with a penalty from Billy Searle.

The game swung dramatically when Francois Venter followed up his own chip and Heem supplied a superb finish with Weir converting from touch.

Venter then went over after a period of sustained pressure and Weir levered over the conversion to give Warriors a lead they were not to lose.

Heem, a constant menace to Wasps, then turned provider for Ethan Waller who arrived in support and Weir again added the extras.

Warriors were now totally dominant and Heem went over for the bonus-point try after he collected a loose ball on the 22.

Weir’s conversion struck the upright and bounced out in his only miss of the afternoon and Nizaam Carr’s try came too late to stifle Warriors’ celebrations.

Warriors: Pennell (David 74); Heem, Venter (Butler 70), Mills, Hammond; Weir, Hougaard (Heaney 60); Black (Waller 48), Singleton (Annett 68), Schonert (Milasinovich 34), Bresler (Barry 58), Phillips, Mama (Cox 74), Lewis, van Velze.


17m | Bassett try 0-5

22m | Weir pen 3-5

27m | Weir pen 6-8

38m | Weir pen 9-8

46m | Miller try 9-13

52m | Searle pen 9-16

54m | Heem try 14-16

55m | Weir con 16-16

61m | Venter try 21-16

62m | Weir con 23-16

67m | Waller try 28-16

68m | Weir con 30-16

69m | Heem try 35-16

78m | Carr try 35-21

79m | Searle con 35-23