A SECOND-HALF hat-trick from Josh Adams saw Worcester Warriors storm to a 39-17 victory over Sale Sharks to climb seven points clear of the relegation zone.

It was a terrific, full-blooded performance by Alan Solomons’ men who began with a bang and finished with a flourish at Sixways.

Tries from Sam Lewis and Chris Pennell in the opening 17 minutes sent Warriors on their way to an impressive Gallagher Premiership triumph.

Sale closed the gap to 17-7 but Warriors proved too strong in the second period as Adams’ try-scoring exploits came to the fore.

A Bryce Heem sin-binning and a Matt Postlethwaite try in the closing 12 minutes were two blips on an otherwise stunning showing as Adams completed his treble in the final few moments.

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


After the disappointment of the 28-16 defeat at Wasps Warriors needed to produce a performance that would re-energise their supporters and reaffirm why they are deserving of a place amongst England’s elite. They did exactly that.

Warriors have been slow starters this season, notably conceding three tries in the first 20 minutes at the Ricoh Arena last Saturday.

But on this occasion Worcester got on top and stayed there during the opening quarter of the game which saw Lewis and Pennell cross.

Worcester’s fans were then treated to three more tries, all scored by departing Wales star Adams. The Cardiff Blues-bound wing would not have had many better days in blue and gold as he got on the end two flowing moves before touching down Michael Heaney’s grubber kick.


With skipper Gerrit-Jan van Velze still recovering from a fractured arm and vice-captain Ryan Mills (shoulder) ruled out through injury Marco Mama was given the responsibility of leading the side on his 50th appearance.

The back rower has stepped into his van Velze’s shoes at number eight in recent weeks and demonstrated his leadership qualities on Saturday.

Not only did Mama who was playing at blindside flanker communicate well but his energy levels throughout rubbed off on his team-mates.

The Zimbabwean linked up brilliantly with Francois Venter in the lead up to Adams’ second try and was part of a dominant back row as Lewis and Cornell du Preez also starred.


This was a day where there were a number of candidates for man of the match. In the backs Adams bagged a hat-trick and Venter showed his international class in a barnstorming display.

But it was the forwards that were key to this triumph with prop Ethan Waller and hooker Niall Annett deserving a lot of credit.

It would be a huge shock should Annett not be rewarded with a new contract as he has given his all for Warriors and was outstanding once again especially in defence.

Waller who has been second choice behind Callum Black for most of this season showed why should be a sure-fire pick for the number one shirt moving forward.

The ex-Northampton Saints ace was exceptional in the loose as he charged forward several times and showcased his passing range with a well-timed flick inside to set up Lewis before producing a wonderful lofted delivery for Adams to score his second.


Warriors played 10 of the final 12 minutes with 14 men after Bryce Heem was sin-binned for a tip-tackle on Paolo Odogwu.

On first viewing Heem looked in danger of seeing red as he lifted Odogwu before the replacement Sale wing plunged to the floor.

However after several replays it appeared Odogwu’s upper back hit the turf after being dropped by Heem.

Both directors of rugby had contrasting views with Sale boss Steve Diamond feeling it warranted a red.

But as Odogwu’s head was not driven to the ground referee Ian Tempest and the television match official agreed a yellow card would suffice - the correct call in my view.


When Worcester play with that much passion in defence and precision in attack they can threaten any side.

But you have to think back to the thrashing of Bristol Bears in October to the last time Warriors were so emphatic.

With their Premiership status at stake Worcester know they need to produce their absolute best and may only need one more big performance to get them over the line and condemn Newcastle Falcons to relegation.

Third-placed Gloucester are up next at Sixways on April 28 and if Warriors can play like they did against Sale a victory would be no surprise.