Goode keeps his cool to shock Saracens

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The Independent Online

Saracens' hopes of finishing top of the Aviva Premiership were dealt a bitter blow last night when lowly Worcester pulled off a 16-11 win at Sixways, after the visitors had opened up an 8-0 lead.

Worcester slowly but surely got into the match, and with experienced former England fly-half Andy Goode kicking 11 points they pulled off a tremendous victory against the odds.

Saracens raced into the lead with a superb try by Michael Tagicakibau, which owed much to the clever hands of Schalk Brits and Andy Saull. Alex Goode, making his 100th appearance for the club, missed the conversion but was successful with a simple penalty and the visitors had an early eight-point advantage.

Somehow Worcester stemmed the tide and with the last movement of the half, a clearance kick from Brits was charged down, Andy Goode's pass went astray but Alex Grove hacked on the loose ball to score the try which Goode converted.

Saracens regained the lead but the accurate boot of Goode saw Worcester home to savour the most unlikely of wins.

Disappointed Saracens coach Mark McCall said: "We played brilliantly for 30 minutes but we missed a couple of opportunities. After that initial half-hour we lost the penalty count 12-1, which is incredible. We are unbelievably disappointed but we have to be more disciplined and more composed."

In last night's other game, Sale Sharks ran in six tries as they powered to a dominant, bonus-point 46-34 victory over Wasps, who succumbed to their ninth consecutive Premiership defeat.

Sale scored three first-half tries through Sam Tuitupou (two) and Dwayne Peel as they opened up a 25-14 advantage. The Sharks repeated the try-scoring feat in the second period with Andy Powell, Johnny Leota and Rob Miller all going over, though two late Joe Simpson scores made the score appear more respectable.

"I think you have to put your hands up," the Wasps director of rugby, Dai Young, said. "We struggled with their tempo that they brought to the game, their power runners were just too much for us to handle and they were always on the front-foot."