Rob Verbakel scored twice on his first Gardens outing © www.atsportphoto.com
Rugby News WANDERERS 52 WORCESTER 26: Eight is great for powerful Wanderers
Salesi Ma'afu's Gardens bow was a winning one with the Wanderers and the prop was quick to praise his fellow forwards as they set the platform for the eight try Aviva 'A' League win over Worcester.
The prop played almost an hour in front of a healthy turnout at the home of the Saints and continues to enjoy his time in the black, green and gold.
"It was good to get out there in front of a home crowd and even better to come away with the win," he told SaintsTV. "The scrum and set piece was pretty strong out there tonight and we're pretty happy with the results of it.
"I'd like to think the hard work I've put in with the conditioners is starting to pay off. It's only my second game back but I'm building slowly and hoping to get some more game time to put my hand up for a place in the macthday 23."
Teimana Harrison scorched through to open the scoring after the Wanderers won an early scrum against the head and after Glenn Dickson's conversion, GJ van Velze was mauled over patiently by his pack.
The bright-booted Tom Collins then produced a typically mazy run to sidestep his man and crash over having come off his wing and despite the attentions of three defenders. The bonus score was a more direct approach to finishing from Rob Verbakel, the second row smashing over on his own Gardens debut on the left.
That made it 24-0 and it would stay that way until the break, after which Worcester would mount a spirited comeback initiated by a Max Stelling double during Howard Packman's sin bin.
Ethan Waller intervened with the Wanderers' fifth but the comeback went on, Ben Howard scooting over on the left before feeding Tom Chapman in the very same channel just four minutes later.
That brought the game within a score, but next time the Wanderers stretched clear it was for good. Another maul set the platform and while it was frustratingly dragged down short, possession was retained and Verbakel eventually doubled up to re-open a 12-point gap.
Fellow second row Alex Woolford followed suit by jumping a ruck to slam down but the score of the night was reserved for Howard Packman.
Slick handling set the flying wing free but he still had plenty to do receiving Collins' pass on his own 10 metre line. Having put his put to the floor though, Packman burned of multiple defenders before weaving in and out to evade four more would be chasers and dart beside the sticks.
Dickson added his sixth conversion of the night and while they couldn't take further advantage of a yellow for Worcester's double scorer Stelling, the scoreline already had an emphatic enough look about it.
3mins WAND Try Harrison Con Dickson 7-0
9mins WAND Try van Velze 12-0
16mins WAND Try Collins Con Dickson 19-0
26mins WAND Try Verbakel 24-0
HALF-TIME WAND 24 WORCS 0
43mins WAND Yellow Packman
45mins WORCS Try Stelling Con Davies 24-7
47mins WORCS Try Stelling Con Davies 24-14
56mins WAND Try Waller Con Dickson 31-14
59mins WORCS Try Howard Con Davies 31-21
63mins WORCS Try Chapman 31-26
67mins WAND Try Verbakel Con Dickson 38-26
73mins WAND Try Woolford Con Dickson 45-26
75mins WAND Try Packman Con Dickson 52-26
78mins WORCS Yellow Stelling
FULL-TIME WAND 52 WORCS 26