BUCKET loads of grit and determination saw Worcester Warriors overcome a 14-3 deficit to beat Harlequins 19-14 in torrential rain at The Stoop.

The Sixways side, who were missing several key players due to injury, were up against it as Quins scored two early tries to establish an 11-point lead.

But with Michael Heaney marshalling a dogged forward pack and Jono Lance kicking goals, Warriors turned the Gallagher Premiership match around and got the win they deserved.

Jamie Shillcock got the crucial try with 13 minutes left before stand-in skipper Lance completed a 14-point haul with two late kicks.

Geoff Berkeley picks out five talking points from Saturday’s victory.


It looked like being an all-too-familiar away performance when Quins struck twice inside the first 14 minutes as Alex Dombrandt and James Chisholm crossed.

But this time Warriors recovered from their sluggish start and proceeded to dominate territory and possession.

Chances came and went with Cornell du Preez notably knocking on five metres from the line, but the boot of Lance kept Worcester in touch.

The heavy rain was a leveller as both sides made mistakes but crucially Warriors won the arm wrestle and the kick-tennis battle to stay on top.

The bench also made a telling contribution as the forwards shoved Dombrandt over his own line to secure an attacking scrum that laid the platform for Shillcock’s score.

Worcester played the conditions perfectly as they kept things tight, picking and going and kicking when they needed to in a thoroughly impressive victory on the road.


It had been 11 months since Shillcock last graced the Premiership.

The 22-year-old has suffered a series of injury setbacks during that long absence but worked his way back to full fitness and finally got his chance to shine.

Replacing the injured Chris Pennell at full-back Shillcock had big shoes to fill and his afternoon did not get off to the best of starts.

Shillcock got underneath a high, hanging kick from Marcus Smith only to fumble the ball following a big tackle by Francis Saili. Chisholm then pounced as he kicked ahead before sliding over.

That costly mistake would have knocked many players but Shillcock showed tremendous character to bounce back and score late on.

After receiving Heaney’s pass, Shillcock held off Gabriel Ibitoye and Ross Chisholm to go over in the corner.


Losing scrum-half Francois Hougaard is huge but to lose fly-half Duncan Weir and centre Ryan Mills – two generals on the field – as well left Warriors with a big problem.

But shouldering both the captaincy and kicking responsibilities stand-off Lance rose to the challenge as he led by example.

The Australian carried hard, defended resiliently and was accurate from the tee. He dispatched five of his six kicks at goal in horrid conditions including a pivotal penalty on the stroke of half-time and a critical conversion from out wide to give his side the lead.

But it was Heaney who ran the show. The number nine who had to play second fiddle to Hougaard last term is grasping his opportunity as he bossed Warriors around the field with sharp passing and well-placed box kicks.

The Irishman was also instrumental in Shillcock’s try as he made a break for the line before producing a superb, looping pass to the full-back to finish.


This was not a day for backs yet Ed Fidow still demonstrated his tenacious talents on debut.

It was a harsh call to drop Perry Humphreys to the bench especially having got a brace in the defeat to Exeter Chiefs last week.

But Fidow ensured it was not a decision that backfired for boss Alan Solomons.

There was one moment in the match when Fidow was caught out of position in defence yet brilliantly scampered back to make a fine cover tackle.

That was a microcosm of the effort Warriors’ players put in and Fidow was willing to get his hands dirty.

When he did get his legs pumping the Samoan star made ground, racking up 41 metres from seven carries.

Melani Nanai also impressed on the opposite wing as the duo played together for the first time since joining the club this summer.


With many sides missing key men to the Rugby World Cup it was vital Warriors started the season strongly and they have done just that.

It has not been pretty, but Warriors have bagged ugly wins against Leicester Tigers and Quins and should have defeated Exeter last week.

After four games Worcester sit seventh with nine points on the board – that’s their best start to a campaign since 2015-16 when they picked up 10 points.

Worcester now head into two weeks of European Challenge Cup action – and for many players this will provide a timely break before their league battle against Sale Sharks at Sixways on Saturday, November 30.