Northampton sees Gloucester unruly as London Irish take off ahead of Eddie Jones
The Warriors built a 19-5 halftime lead and never looked back as they outscored and scored their rivals who took an early lead thanks to exciting young wing Ollie Hassell-Collins.
Paddy Jackson provided the perfect long pass to the left in the path of the oncoming Hassell-Collins who gratefully accepted the gift and erupted challenging a Warriors tackle to ground the ball. The hosts finally got a foothold in the competition, having had to absorb a lot of Irish pressure, and made the most of their first real sniff of the try line.
The Warriors field pushed their Irish rivals back across their line with a driving maul, and flanker Sam Lewis rose to claim the try. Owen Williams showed his boots are sharp on target by piercing the conversion.
Jackson missed the opportunity to get ahead of Irish again with a relatively straightforward penalty that was directed just a yard or two wide from the posts. The visiting forwards had used their muscle and power to fend off their rivals in a scrum, but Jackson failed to take advantage of it.
The Irish were reduced to 14 men nine minutes before the break when scrum-half Ben White received a yellow card from referee Craig Maxwell-Keys for a high tackle on flanker Matt Kvesic. The Warriors made them pay two minutes before halftime as Heinz pushed his way through a huge gap, beat a tackle attempt and dived into the left corner despite two Irish players trying to stop him.
It was a superb first score for the Englishman who showed real skill and vigilance to get out of the way and another Warriors attack ended with full-back Melani Nanai coming off. crushed and Williams converted.
The Irish fought back strongly, camping out on the Worcester line and eventually No.8 Albert Tuisue pushed his way through for a try that raised hope and morale among visitors after watching the game slip away from them. The Irish took advantage of a lot of time and pressure on their opponents’ line, but failed to break through the determined and resilient blue wall. And although they failed to close the gap, it was the home side who struck again with Matt Kvesic diving into the ball to claim the try after Heinz had another sizzling run to through the Irish defense before being reduced to a meter.
Williams gave a penalty as replacement mainstay Ollie Hoskins dozed off for an Irish try. Winger Perry Humphreys had a dazzling run from the center line for Worcester’s fifth down. Hoskins celebrated his pair of tries towards the end, but the game was already lost for the visitors.
Irish rugby manager Declan Kidney admitted: “The yellow card was a bit confusing but it wasn’t the main thing for me. We made some mistakes that cost us dearly and will need to be corrected this week.”
Rating sequence (Worcester first): 0-5 (Hassell-Collins try), 5-5 (Lewis try), 7-5 (Williams try), 12-5 (Heinz try), 17-5 (test de Nanai), 19-5 (Williams con) at halftime; 19-10 (Tuisue try), 24-10 (Kvesic), 26-10 (Williams con), 29-10 (Williams pen), 29-15 (Hoskins try), 29-17 (Jackson con), 34-17 (Humphreys try-on), 36-17 (Williams scam), 36-22 (Hoskins essay), 36-24 (Jackson’s essence).
Worcester; Mr. Nanai (represented by: J Shillcock, 45); N Heward, O Lawrence, F Venter, P Humphreys; O Williams (representing: O Morris, 74), W Heinz (cc) (representing: W Chudley, 53); E Waller (represented by: M Thomas, 42 years old), S Baldwin (represented by: N Annett, 64 years old), C Judge (J Owlett, 58 years old); K Hatherell (represented by: M Garvey, 42 years old), J Clegg (represented by: G Kitchener, 56 years old); T Hill (cc), S Lewis, M Kvesic ..
Irish;T Parton (represented by: J Stokes, 73); K Rowe, C Rona (represented by: M Williams, 73), B van Rensburg, O Hassell-Collins; P Jackson, B White (represented by: H O’Sullivan, 63); W Goodrick-Clarke (representing: A Dell, 56 years old), A Creevy (representing: M Cornish, 56 years old), M van der Merwe (representing: O Hoskins, 48 years old); R Simmons, A Coleman (rep: G Nott, 58); M Rogerson (c), B Donnell, A Tuisue.
Yellow card: White (31)
Replacement not used: J Cooke
Arbitrator: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Bath’s retaliation proves to be in vain as Bailey’s last missed penalty allows Sale to clinch
Sale Sharks 20 Bath 19
Alex Sanderson has admitted that his side put him to the test after Sale got the chance to beat Bath in his first Premiership game at AJ Bell Stadium.
With young scrum-half Raffi Quirke in sensational form, Sale was leading 17-0 at one point only for Bath to strike back and take the lead in the final 10 minutes.
A Kieran Wilkinson penalty put the Sharks back in the lead and Orlando Bailey didn’t go the distance with a long-range shot to win in the last minute, much to Sanderson’s relief.
“My heart rate was horrible after that. I’m sure they’re doing it on purpose, ”said rugby manager from Sale. “I was like, ‘How did he come to this? It should have been a 30-point game – we hit two on the line. But we found a way to win. It is also their superpower. They are of special quality, these lots. I am proud of them.
The first points of the match did not come until the 23rd minute, when Rob du Preez scored a penalty for Sale after Bath went astray offside.
Home fans didn’t have to wait too long to celebrate their first try of the campaign. Captain Jono Ross chose to take a penalty in the corner and he won the resulting line-up to set up a rolling maul, from which Akker van der Merwe started.
Quirke, wearing the No.9 shirt in Faf de Klerk’s absence, scored the second try after 35 minutes. He broke through the Bath defense before moving on to Byron McGuigan to cross.
Bath’s first notable attack came in the 39th minute. The good handling of Beno Obano, Charlie Ewels and Tom de Glanville kept them under the posts of Sale. Sharks full-back Simon Hammersley was on trial for cynically killing the ball, meaning he was sent to the sin-bin, and Danny Cipriani kicked the resulting penalty on his debut to carry the score at 17-3 at the break.
The visitors made their extra man count at the start of the second half. Cipriani scored another penalty to bring the score to 17-6 after Sale’s defense failed to withdraw. Then, in the 54th minute, Bath scored his first try. A strong break from Miles Reid allowed substitute Juan Schoeman to point the ball past the posts, with Bailey’s conversion bringing the score to 17-13.
After trailing 17-0, Bath cut the game down to one point in the 66th minute as Bailey, who had replaced Cipriani, took a penalty to make it 17-16.
Sale then thought they scored a try in the corner, but Du Preez struck as he dove for the line and it meant a nervous final 10 minutes for the home crowd.
In the 75th minute, their fears came true as a nice break from Sam Underhill resulted in a penalty in front of the posts that Bailey converted. This meant the visitors were leading for the first time with just five minutes to go.
But substitute Wilkinson came to Sale’s rescue as the young opening half netted a simple penalty, before Bailey missed the last breath almost halfway.
The late miss left Bath rugby manager Stuart Hooper with mixed emotions. “Sometimes those kicks go through and sometimes they don’t,” he said. “The effort the boys put in, the way they stuck with it, I’m really proud of it and there’s a lot to remember.
“We gave too many penalties in the first half – I think it was 11. We asked the guys if Sale was stressing us out when they had the ball. It wasn’t, so if we settled the penalties, we would come back into the game and we did.
“We were definitely better in the second half, but you have to remember that there are two teams there. The sale turned out to be difficult in the first half. As the game progressed they got tired and we started to find space. We could have won at the end, but that’s how it is.
Scoring sequence: 3-0 Du Preez pen, 8-0 try Van der Merwe, 10-0 Du Preez con, 15-0 try McGuigan, 17-0 Du Preez con, 17-3 Cipriani pen, 17-6 Cipriani pen, 17-11 Schoeman try, 17-13 Bailey con, 17-16 Bailey pen, 17-19 Bailey pen, 20-19 Wilkinson pen.
Sale: S Hammersley; B McGuigan, S James (Van Rensburg 48), M Tuilagi, M Yarde; R Du Preez (K Wilkinson 70), R Quirke (W Cliff 39); B Rodd, A van der Merwe (T Taylor 53), N Schonert (Ford 69), C Wiese, J Du Preez, C Neild, B Curry (S Dugdale 27), J Ross. Harrison Submarines, Birch.
Bath: T de Glanville; S Rokoduguni, J Joseph, M Ojomoh, W Muir; D Cipriani (O Bailey 51), B Spencer (O Fox 21); B Obano (J Schoeman 51), T Dunn (J Du Toit 67), J Jonker (Rae 62), M Williams (T Ellis 51), C Ewels, M Reid (J Coetzee 61), S Underhill, J Bayliss. Under Mr. Clark.
Arbitrator: Christophe Ridley (England).