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Worcester Cavaliers 34-28 Northampton Wanderers: Wandies take two losing bonus points at league leaders

Northampton Wanderers wrapped up 2019 with a trip to Sixways but fell to league-leaders Worcester Cavaliers in the Premiership Rugby Shield.

Thick fog took over Sixways as the last Shield game of 2019 got underway and the home side made the most of the conditions, Cavaliers securing the try bonus point before the break with scores from Jono Kitto, Kai Owen, Beck Cutting and Noah Heward over. 

And though the fog convered Wanderers' first score, Northampton sent Devante Onojaife over to stay within touch at the break. The try bonus point was wrapped up for the away side after the interval, with tries from James Fish and Connor Tupai drawing things level, but two late Worcester penalties took the draw out of Wanderers’ grasps and left the away side with just two losing bonus points.

Worcester took the first blood in the fog, with Scott van Breda breaking the line to send Kitto over in the first minute.

A conversion from van Breda put the hosts on the front foot but Wanderers hit straight back with a score of their own; Alex Coles broke through on the halfway line and made it up to the 22 before he was taken down, Wandies whipped the ball left into the fog and dotted down in the corner.

A conversion from James Grayson levelled things but it was not long before the home side were sending Owen over from close range to pull ahead. 

But again Wanderers got straight back on the attack and, after the forwards barged their way close, Onojaife charged over from five metres out.

Another conversion from Grayson levelled things for a time, but Worcester regained the lead on the half hour mark as they mauled close before Cutting broke away to scamper over in the corner.

 And Cavaliers had their bonus point score just after, with the home side working wide to send Heward over in the corner just before the half-time whistle blew.

The fog had begun to lift as the teams emerged from the changing rooms and Wanderers began to find their feet; first sending Fish over off the back of a driving maul before Tupai sniped over for the try bonus point.

Grayson’s conversion brought the scores level again but a penalty from Luke Scully sent the home side back into the lead with ten minutes left on the clock. 

And though Wandies pushed the hosts to their limits in the game’s final minutes, a scrum penalty took the draw firmly out of Wanderers' reach - with Scully sending another kick through in the final play on the game.

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