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SAINTS 30 WORCESTER 14 As it happened

Samu Manoa carries the Saints forward against Worcester © Getty Images

Match Report SAINTS 30 WORCESTER 14 As it happened

The Saints went back to the top of the Aviva Premiership with a hard earned 10th victory in a row against 14-man Worcester, three tries and the flawless kicking of Stephen Myler getting the job done at Franklin's Gardens.

KO
Still a strong breeze blowing around the Gardens as Warwick and the Warriors get us underway…
SAINTS 0 WORCS 0

5mins
First scrum of the afternoon and after the second attempt, Wayne Barnes awards a penalty in Andress’ favour, on Pennell guides over.
SAINTS 0 WORCS 3

7mins
Having kicked the game’s first points, Pennell then gets a chance to run on halfway and evades the first Saints tackler. Hodgson then clips a clever little kick in behind that Wilson has to hurry clear. There’s a break in play as referee Barnes goes to the TMO for possible foul play. The ball comes back for a penalty.
SAINTS 0 WORCS 3

8mins
Pennell fancies his chances from nigh on 50m and well he might. Excellent strike of the ball but his direction is out from a long way back.
SAINTS 0 WORCS 3

10mins
The visitors are looking after the ball extremely well but for very little ground. Haywood waits for the perfect opportunity to pounce and a penalty allows Myler to take his side into an attacking position for the first time.
SAINTS 0 WORCS 3

12mins
A good first contribution from Stephenson on his full Premiership debut. The young centre cuts a good line at pace and after Dickson has a stab at the Warriors defence, play comes back for Myler to guide over a 40m penalty.
SAINTS 3 WORCS 3

15mins
Sublime from Manoa to get Saints on the front foot. His surge and offload frees Dowson and when the ball moves wide at pace, only a decent covering tackle from Pennell denies Elliott. Looked a tad high but Worcester will throw into the lineout.
SAINTS 3 WORCS 3

17mins
Manoa and Stephenson again at the fore as the Saints test the Warriors back line. No way through this time and Myler instead stabs a territorial kick to touch.
SAINTS 3 WORCS 3

19mins
Another Saints penalty at the breakdown, Waller the scavenger this time as Pennell looked to craft a Warriors counter. A little further out, this time Myler goes to touch but it’s a rare miss from Haywood.
SAINTS 3 WORCS 3

20mins
Worcester don’t keep possession for long, an off the ball incident gifting Saints a penalty and Myler wastes no time clipping over the three.
SAINTS 6 WORCS 3

22mins
Saints really starting to boss the breakdown, Clark at the fore as you’d expect, and some neat handling from Dickson opens up space for Elliott and Haywood to dash forward. Nice interlinking from the backs and forwards but the move comes to nothing as Dickinson spills in midfield.
SAINTS 6 WORCS 3

24mins
Having been punished last time, Waller this time wins the battle at the scrum and referee Barnes’ arm goes up on the Saints’ side against the head. Myler doubles the gap to six points.
SAINTS 9 WORCS 3

27mins
It’s just a case of the Saints being patient to get the ball back and Ma’afu adds his name to those who have pinched turnovers. Difficult kick to touch for Myler though and while his misses, Worcester only make it through a couple of phases before Clark wraps up his man for another penalty.
SAINTS 9 WORCS 3

29mins
Even Dickson’s getting in on the turnovers and when he is stopped from taking the resulting penalty quickly, Senatore sees yellow.
SAINTS 9 WORCS 3

30mins
Worcester need to watch their discipline here, referee Barnes having a word with skipper Thomas after some backchat. Another penalty goes the Saints’ way and Myler decides it is time to apply the squeeze, presumably through the forwards.
SAINTS 9 WORCS 3

32mins
It doesn’t, however, go to plan and this time it’s Worcester who flood the breakdown to turnover Haywood. They also eat a vital few seconds off the clock before the lineout.
SAINTS 9 WORCS 3

33mins
Playing at pace looks to be the best way forward for the Saints and another flowing move takes them deep into the visiting 22. Penalty for offside allows Myler to give the pack another go at the lineout drive.
SAINTS 9 WORCS 3

35mins
Unfortunately it’s the same result as last time. The maul crumbles in the face of stern Worcester defence and fringe carriers are the isolated in coughing up possession.
SAINTS 9 WORCS 3

39mins
Senatore is back for the Warriors and his gamble to tag Dickson illegally was, in the end, a good one. A loose pass from Dowson also means his first involvement back in the game is a Worcester scrum and the Warriors plug away for another penalty, George’s tackle on Pennell punished. The full back cuts the gap as the teams head for the changing rooms.
SAINTS 9 WARRIORS 6

HT
They wouldn’t have been expecting an easy ride, but the Saints may well be a little frustrated with their first 40 against the Warriors. They’ve certainly looked the more likely but in the face of some spirited Warriors defence, they’ve only got three Myler penalties to show for it.
SAINTS 9 WORCS 6

40mins
Back out and hoping for better, Myler restarts the game for the Saints…
SAINTS 9 WORCS 6

41mins
Rare mistake from Pennell as he looks to return a Myler kick and puts out on the full. Saints lineout is clawed in by Dickinson on the 22, Elliott and Waller go up the blindside and Manoa goes agonisingly close. Some patience required though and they’ll instead go to the corner with a penalty.
SAINTS 9 WORCS 6

43mins
Worcester halt another maul, this time illegally, and after a quick check with the TMO for a possible grounding, it’s into the corner once more as the crowd perks up.
SAINTS 9 WORCS 6

44mins
SAINTS TRY!! Wayne Barnes is clearly getting tired of the Warriors’ tactics and after another drive crumbles narrowly short, he heads under the sticks to award a penalty try instead. Myler of course converts.
SAINTS 16 WORCS 6

46mins
Perfect start for the Saints but after the restart it’s a perfect response from Worcester. Lemi finds a gap and Grove has the presence of mind to stab forward for the Samoan, who wins the race to the ball to scramble it down. Pennell misses the conversion but the warning shot has already been fired.
SAINTS 16 WORCS 11

48mins
Saints bossing the scrum and Dickson goes early with another penalty against the head. The Saints scrum half is clearly looking to raise the tempo.
SAINTS 16 WORCS 11

52mins
It’s been far from the usual slick home form the Saints have become used to at home but with Elliott and Manoa looking for work there’s no lack of trying. Worcester concede at another maul and the Saints are right back in the corner. Patience needed you’d suggest.
SAINTS 16 WORCS 11

53mins
RED CARD!! As in the first half, Worcester find the answer to Saints’ rolling maul but as they win a penalty, Thomas throws a sucker punch at Dickinson and with the TMO’s help, referee Barnes has no option but to show the Warriors skipper a red card. Dickinson also sees yellow for pulling back Percival in open play.
SAINTS 16 WORCS 11

54mins
Saints of course have the penalty reversal and when an umpteenth maul is sacked by the Warriors, Betty sees yellow. Now 14 against 13 - it’ll be a soccer match soon!
SAINTS 16 WORCS 11

55mins
SAINTS TRY!! A frantic few minutes finally come to an end. The Warriors dare not halt this charge and van Velze is at the centre of a pack that surges over for try number two. Saints have to press on from here with the man advantage.
SAINTS 23 WORCS 11

57mins
Saints have made changes, Denman and Fotuali’i on for Ma’afu and Dickson. Myler sniffs an interception as Worcester look to play but knocks forward and when George does scoop up a loose pass, play comes back.
SAINTS 23 WORCS 11

59mins
Still the Warriors don’t look deterred and with Clark caught on the wrong side of the ball, Pennell kicks a penalty as the visitors look to claw their way back into bonus point range at least.
SAINTS 23 WORCS 14

62mins
Mieres sees two kicks charged down and second time the Argentine is thankful for Drauniniu’s dancing feet to recover Myler’s punt forward and run clear. Saints now back to a full contingent as Dickinson returns, Nutley joining him in place of Clark.
SAINTS 23 WORCS 14

65mins
An air of impatience around the Gardens, but the Saints still have plenty of time to kill this game off. They’re swapping Wallers on the loose head as more fresh blood is introduced to the game.
SAINTS 23 WORCS 14

67mins
Great scrummaging from the Saints and control at the base from van Velze gives them another penalty against the head. Saints upfield and after try number three.
SANTS 23 WORCS 14

68mins
SAINTS TRY!! Huge overlap on the left after Ken cuts Worcester open. Stephenson ignores an overlap to go it alone and a couple of phases later van Velze is over for a second. Myler converts and now the bonus is at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
SAINTS 30 WORCS 14

71mins
Saints emptying the bench now, Autagavaia, McMillan and Harrison on for George, Manoa and Haywood. Myler kicks the territory to put pressure right back on the Warriors.
SAINTS 30 WORCS 14 

74mins
Boom! What a tackle that is by Autagavaia as last man, O’Donnell almost at full pace barrelling through for Worcester. Even with their man disadvantage they are looking after the ball well but Saints are keeping it tight and win a penalty.
SAINTS 30 WORCS 14

76mins
Sensational from Fotuali’i! Saints in the middle of a flowing attack and when the scrum-half spots space on the blind side, he scoops the ball from the base between his legs to set Saints going forward. A penalty goes to the corner but Harrison is a little too eager to press on and gets up having been tackled at the cost of a penalty.
SAINTS 30 WORCS 14

79mins
Saints are going to need another late show here if they are to get the result they crave again. Now perilously close to the Worcester line with less than a minute on the clock and advantage being played.
SAINTS 30 WORCS 14

80mins
Worcester knock on and there’s still time for one last scrum with the clock having turned red. Penalty and the only option is to re-scrum! 16th man perks up too.
SAINTS 30 WORCS 14

80+3mins
Another penalty, another scrum coming and the noise goes up again!
SAINTS 30 WORCS 14

FT
Game over. Admirable counter shove from the Warriors and when it comes loose, there’s no way through for the Saints. Back to the top of the table, however.
SAINTS 30 WORCS 14

FT
No bonus point, but a valuable victory that takes the Saints back above Saracens. In truth, five points didn’t look on the cards at half-time and 14-man Worcester deserve plenty of credit for their battling qualities to deny the Saints a maximum, even if their afternoon ends fruitless.
SAINTS 30 WORCS 14

TIMELINE
5mins WORCS Pen Pennell 0-3
8mins WORCS Miss pen Pennell
13mins SAINTS Pen Myler 3-3
21mins SAINTS Pen Myler 6-3
25mins SAINTS Pen Myler 9-3
29mins WORCS Yellow Senatore
40mins WORCS Pen Pennell 9-6
HALF-TIME SAINTS 9 WORCS 6
44mins SAINTS Try Penalty Con Myler 16-6
46mins WORCS Try Lemi 16-11
53mins SAINTS Yellow Dickinson
53mins WORCS Red Thomas
54mins WORCS Yellow Betty
55mins SAINTS Try van Velze Con Myler 23-11
59mins WORCS Pen Pennell 23-14
68mins SAINTS Try van Velze Con Myler 30-14
FULL-TIME SAINTS 30 WORCS 14

SAINTS: Wilson; K Pisi, G Pisi, Stephenson, Elliott; Myler, Dickson; A Waller, Haywood, Ma’afu, Manoa, Dickinson, Clark, Dowson (capt), van Velze

Reps: McMillan, E Waller, Denman, Nutley, Harrison, Fotuali’i, Hooley, Autatgavaia

WORCESTER: Pennell; Drauniniu, Grove, Fatiaki, Lemi; Warwick, Arr; Fainga’anuku, Creevy, Andress, Schofield, Galarza, Senatore, Betty, Thomas (capt)

Reps: Brooker, Porter, O’Donnell, Percival, De Carpentier, Hodgson, Mieres, Hammond

TP Man of the Match: GJ van Velze

Referee: Wayne Barnes

Att: 12,553

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