Worcester Warriors 11 Newcastle Falcons 16 match report: Falcons fly highest in battle to avoid the drop

Warriors are without a win in over seven months after Falcons earn first victory at Sixways since 2004

Sixways

The air of desperation hanging over Sixways was almost palpable. Even this early in the season it is hard to believe that these two clubs will not be involved in a relegation struggle come April, but Newcastle Falcons, in recording their second win of the Aviva Premiership, have the stronger foundation.

Having scored 13 points in almost as many minutes, they could hardly be accused of sitting on their lead because they did not have the ball to sit on; for an hour or more they tackled their hearts out and Worcester, hurried and flurried, could break them only once.

True, they could have pinched the verdict in the dying moments. David Lemi, who scored their try by crawling under his forwards to the line, was brought down six metres short and Worcester forced a scrum in the shadow of the posts. Yet that scrum was a mess, possession shoddy and Newcastle held firm, forcing the turnover which allowed them to close matters out.

Worcester will argue that any point is better than none but they have now lost 10 matches in succession, their worst run in the professional era, and defeat yesterday gave Newcastle their first success at Sixways since 2004 – Worcester’s first game after winning promotion to the premiership for the first time in their history.

Dean Ryan, their director of rugby, has never been one to soft-soap such a scenario: “We can’t buy a win at the moment,” he said. “We have to get better at managing the things we can control, we haven’t got a group that is confident week in, week out. Last week [against London Wasps] we ran too much, this week we kicked too much – with the sort of possession we had, we should have generated more scores.”

Kicked too much and kicked poorly. In the first half, in particular, it almost suited Newcastle better to be without the ball because they could rely on Worcester giving it to them in reasonable  counter-attacking positions. If the Falcons do not play pretty rugby, no-one should expect them to: shorn of eight injured players, they are interested only in winning games with a young group, many graduates from the club academy.

One of their older heads, Mike Blair, helped them on the road to victory when he squeezed beneath a pile of bodies for the try which, with Rory Clegg adding a conversion to his earlier penalty, gave Newcastle 10 points in the opening eight minutes..

Clegg added another penalty when the Worcester front row was at fault and though Ignacio Mieres clawed back three points, Worcester could make no headway even against 14 men. Oliver Tomaszczyk was dispatched to the sin-bin for slowing down ruck ball and Will Welch, the Newcastle captain, did not re-appear after the interval because of shoulder damage.

However, Mieres kicked another penalty as Tomaszczyk returned and, with 12 minutes remaining, gave themselves a sniff of victory when a series of drives ended with Lemi joining his forwards and making the touchdown. But Paul Warwick could not level with the angled conversion and Newcastle promptly marched back downfield, helped by a barnstorming run from Chris York, Welch’s replacement; Phil Godman kicked an easy penalty and Newcastle left in good heart.

“When I came back up [to the premiership] with Harlequins, we lost our first six games and everyone was talking about relegation,” Dean Richards, their director of rugby, said. “You have to have patience.” His two wins have come away from home; now he has to make Kingston Park inhospitable.

Line-ups:

Worcester: C Pennell; J Drauniniu, R Fatiaki (A Grove, 18), J Matavesi, D Lemi; I Mieres (P Warwick, 52), P Hodgson J Su’a, 47); J Becasseau (G Porter, 54), E Shervington (C Brooker, 54), E Murray (J Andress, 66), M Williams, C Jones, J Thomas (captain), J Abbott, S Taulava (C Goodhue, 48).

Newcastle: A Tait; N Cato, A Powell, J Fitzpatrick, T Catterick; R Clegg (P Godman, 75), M Blair (W Fury, 75); R Vickers (F Montanella, 48-71), M Thompson (G McGuigan, 48), O Tomaszczyk (sin bin 35-45; S Wilson, 66), C del Fava (S Tomes, 75), D Barrow, M Wilson, W Welch (captain; Wilson, 35-45; C York, 45), A Hogg.

Referee: M Fox (Leicestershire).

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

News
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past