Saracens 46 Worcester Warriors 31.

A NEW year, a new man at the helm and a new-found belief that they can go toe-to-toe with Aviva Premiership’s elite.

Free-scoring Worcester Warriors will arrive in 2018 in buoyant mood under newly-appointed director of rugby Alan Solomons after a strong end to 2017.

Warriors’ position in the table might not have changed much over the last 12 months as they remain just one place above the drop zone.

But Worcester are showing signs that they can climb the ladder having beaten Northampton Saints, Leicester Tigers and London Irish in recent weeks.

And they also proved more than a match for high-flying Saracens at Allianz Park on Saturday as a last-gasp Jamie Shillcock try clinched a well-deserved bonus point.

Since Solomons joined the Sixways side’s backroom staff in mid-October, Warriors have gone back to what they do best - and that’s scoring tries.

While that’s not always led to victories, it has resulted in all-important points on the board and their attacking mindset has caused teams problems.

They have also got a winger in red hot form.

Josh Adams arrived in London high in confidence having scored in his last five league games. And he took five minutes to continue that hot streak.

Chris Pennell put through a grubber kick for Adams who showed tremendous pace to startle Brad Barritt and put the ball down.

Pennell landed the conversion from out wide to give Warriors an early 7-0 lead.

But Sarries soon found their feet and levelled the scores on the quarter of an hour mark when scrum-half Ben Spencer burst over. Owen Farrell added the extras.

Pennell missed the chance to edge Worcester back in front as he sent his penalty attempt wide and Sarries made him pay for it.

Warriors were under heavy pressure and with extra numbers out wide the ball was fed to Marcelo Bosch who flicked it onto Sean Maitland to finish.

Farrell converted it before adding three further points as Sarries opened up a 10-point cushion on 31 minutes. But Warriors responded.

Pennell closed the gap with another penalty before Worcester carved out another stunning try just before the break.

After Bryce Heem broke down the right, Ryan Mills combined brilliantly with Jackson Willison who sent Sam Lewis clean through to score.

Pennell converted to draw level at 17-17 at half-time.

Saracens were under threat and made a quadruple change at the start of the second half in a bid to turn the tide.

And with the likes of England aces Mako Vunipola and Richard Wigglesworth coming on the defending European Champions Cup champions found another gear.

Farrell nudged his side ahead with a penalty before Jackson Wray struck twice from close range in the space of five minutes. Farrell converted both to extend Sarries’ lead to 34-17.

But Warriors fought back bravely as replacement Alafoti Fa’osiliva went close before the impressive David Denton gathered a pass from Michael Dowsett and drove over.

Pennell slotted home the conversion to give Worcester a glimmer of hope, but Saracens put the result beyond doubt in the final 10 minutes.

Nathan Earle was on hand to score two late tries after being found in space as Warriors’ defence started to tire.

But Worcester refused to leave empty-handed and in the closing moments they got their reward. After piling on the pressure Shillcock held off his man to score his side’s fourth try which Pennell converted.