WORCESTER Warriors crashed to a demoralising 17-6 defeat to relegation rivals Newcastle Falcons following a diabolical display at Kingston Park.

First-half tries from Zach Kibirige and Toby Flood were enough for Falcons to register their fourth win of the season that boosted their survival hopes in the Gallagher Premiership.

But Worcester were the architects of their own downfall in a scrappy basement battle as their lineout creaked badly and they were devoid of ideas in attack.

Warriors were also hit by injuries to hooker Jack Singleton (elbow) and back rower Marco Mama (head) on a day to forget for the Sixways side who are just five points above the drop zone.

Sports reporter Geoff Berkeley picks out the five talking points.



How many times have Warriors got off to sluggish starts this season?

Falcons crossed twice in the opening 12 minutes in the reverse fixture in September and they caught Warriors napping again.

This time Michael Fatialofa picked the wrong man when he looked to shut down an attack and Kibirige took full advantage to burst through a gap to score on six minutes.

Warriors got on the board with two penalties from Duncan Weir but Falcons were winning the collisions and proved hard to break down in the opening period.

And the hosts increased their lead in the 32nd minute when Flood rode a tackle by Tom Howe to score in the corner.


Last week Leicester Tigers saw two tries chalked off in the first half at Sixways and a contentious TMO decision went Warriors’ way against Falcons.

With Newcastle leading 17-6 and three minutes to go before the break, it looked like Kibirige had scored a stunning second try.

He produced a clever chip in behind before pouncing on the ball which fell kindly for him.

But the wing’s joy was cut short as replays revealed he did not have the ball under control when he went to touch down.

It was a huge moment in the match and appeared to knock Falcons’ confidence as Flood then missed a relatively simple kick just before half-time.

But Worcester failed to capitalise as they put in a scoreless second period to leave empty-handed.


With Newcastle looking to hang onto their lead Alan Solomons’ side saw plenty of the ball after the break but most of it was in their own half.

But they were unable to find a way through Falcons’ well-drilled defence.

You have got to give the hosts some credit but Worcester were poor with ball in hand as they lacked spark and made countless mistakes.

Game managers Weir and Ryan Mills appeared to be caught in two minds whether to kick or run with the ball and often made the wrong decisions.

Solomons even hauled off Weir and Francois Venter and introduced attack-minded pair Ollie Lawrence and Jono Lance for the final 30 minutes.

But individual errors continued to blight Worcester’s game as they slumped to a dismal defeat that leaves them looking over their shoulder.


Singleton produced a man-of-the-match showing in last Sunday’s win over Leicester but was forced off with an elbow injury on 14 minutes.

Isaac Miller came on in Singleton’s place but had a torrid afternoon at the set-piece.

The former London Scottish player misfired at the lineout on numerous occasions ­— twice in Falcons’ 22 when Warriors looked to strike.

Worcester were dealt a further blow when a dizzy Mama left the field on 57 minutes following a blow to the head.


Not since 2006 have Worcester finished outside the bottom three and their hardy supporters are being put through the wringer again.

While Bristol Bears beat Gloucester on Friday night Warriors’ loss has left them trapped in a relegation battle with Newcastle going into the final seven games of the season.

Worcester now face a daunting home clash against leaders Exeter Chiefs while Falcons visit fifth-placed Wasps over the coming weekend.


Warriors: Pennell 5; Howe 5, Venter 4 (Lawrence 50, 6), Mills 4, Heem 5; Weir 4 (Lance 50, 6), Hougaard 5 (Heaney 71); Waller 5 (Black 60), Singleton (Miller 14, 4), Schonert 6 (Milasinovich 60), Bresler 4, Fatialofa 5 (Phillips 60), HILL 6, Lewis 6, Mama 5 (Cox 57, 5).

Falcons: Hammersley; Kibirige, Harris, Williams (Matavesi 75), Sinoti; Flood, Takulua; Lockwood, McGuigan (Cooper 63), Mulipola (Wilson 71), Green, Davidson, Welch, Graham, Chick (Nagusa 63). Replacements not used: Brocklebank, Witty, Stuart, Connon.

Attendance: 8,005.

Referee: W Barnes.