IT was one-way traffic at Sixways as Worcester Cavaliers ran in seven tries in a crushing 47-15 victory over Sale Jets.

After a 30-minute delay due to long queues on the M5, Cavs added to Sale’s misery with an empathic display in the Premiership Shield opener.

Worcester’s pack marmalised Jets in the scrum and the backs tore the defence apart with an exciting, fast-paced game.

Full-back Scott van Breda notched 15 points including the opening score while a penalty try and touchdowns from Gareth Simpson, Nick David, Isaac Miller, Matt McNab and Oli Morris helped Cavaliers get their campaign off to a flying start.

Geoff Berkeley picks out five talking points from Monday night’s win.


Miller has rarely put a foot wrong when given a chance by boss Alan Solomons this season yet finds himself down the pecking order.

But the Scot gave Solomons another reminder of his talents with a stunning, all-action showing in blue and gold.

Miller was not only solid in the set-piece but put in some dominant tackles and was sharp in attack with tidy passes.

The 25-year-old also looked equally adept when shifted to number eight as he collected the ball from the back of a driving maul to score.

With Niall Annett in fine form, summer signing Matt Moulds back fit and Joe Taufete’e nominated for the World Rugby Player of the Year, Miller faces stiff competition.

But the front rower is proving to be a strong contender for the number two jersey.


From the opening scrum it was clear Cavaliers had the edge over Sale up front. They sent their opposite numbers back-peddling yet struggled to get much reward in the first half with referee Harry Walbaum penalising the host.

Walbaum’s interpretation frustrated the home fans and coach Gordon Ross but his forwards kept motoring and turned the screw in the second period.

As well as the scrum which caused Sale all sorts problems, the lineout also operated efficiently with James Scott and Justin Clegg combining well in the second row and the driving maul proved hard to stop.

Simpson turned down several shots at goal to kick for the corner and paid off with a drive to the line resulting in a penalty try before Miller benefitted from another well-constructed surge.


Brought in as injury cover for Nick Schonert and Farai Mudariki last month, Ropate Rinakama finally got his chance to run out in Worcester colours.

The Fiji international did not take long to make his presence felt when replacing Joe Morris on 47 minutes as he soon won a penalty scrum and gave Sale’s loosehead a night to forget.

With star scrummager Schonert making a quicker-than-expected return to fitness, there is a possibility Rinakama might not get a chance to represent Warriors.

But Rinakama who is on a short-term contract, is a handy addition to Ross’ side and his experience in the game will no doubt help rising star Morris who is continuing to master his trade.


It has been a tough time for Matt Cox. The popular back rower was diagnosed with a rare condition that causes a loss of red blood cells.

But through hard work on the training field and dedication in the gym Cox has overcome the illness and now looks in prime condition once again.

The forward made his long-awaited first outing of the season in Russia two weeks ago when Warriors thumped Enisei-STM.

And Cox put in another impressive shift on Monday night as he put van Breda away for the opening try.

The only blemish to his performance came five minutes before the break when he was a sin-binned for an off-the-ball scuffle with Sale’s Sam Dugdale who also saw yellow.

But his competitive edge is clearly back and Cox will hope to force his way into Solomons’ Premiership plans.


Like ex-Warriors star Josh Adams, fellow Welsh aces Luke Scully and Callum Morris did not start their rugby careers at Sixways.

Scully came up through Ospreys’ ranks while Morris was on Dragons’ books but the duo both decided to join Worcester and will hope to kick on this term.

After a season dogged by injury, the pair are back fit and featured against Sale with scrum-half Morris coming off the bench for his club debut late on.

Scully is a fly-half but impressed at inside centre as he attacked with great intent and linked up brilliantly with his midfield partner Oli Morris, who is another player that made the move to Warriors after leaving Saracens.

Simpson also signed for Worcester this summer after departing South Africa and continues to shine whenever given a chance at either nine or 10.