WARRIORS chief Alan Solomons lavished praise on his side after they ended a run of three straight defeats with a 40-25 bonus point win over London Irish.
Sunday’s win brought to an end a run of seven games in just 29 days for Warriors after English rugby’s top flight emerged from the Coronavirus shutdown.
Warriors recorded only their second win since the restart and leapfrogged the Exiles in the Gallagher Premiership table to move up to ninth ahead of the fortnight’s break for European club competitions to resume.
Speaking after the win a delighted Solomons said: “It’s fantastic for all the players and staff to go into the break on the back of a bonus point win.
“There’s a feelgood factor after a result like that and we deserved it. We’ve taken a long-term approach with our youngsters and all the lads are making a difference.”
A dominant second half display secured Warriors second victory at The Stoop and a first bonus point away win of the campaign.
Weather conditions were very different to November when Warriors beat Harlequins in driving rain and numbing cold but the warm, sunny weather made for perfect handling conditions and produced a ten-try extravaganza which saw Warriors record their biggest winning margin away in the Premiership.
Warriors’ scored five of their six tries – and 33 points – in the second half with scrum-half Francois Hougaard and replacement centre Ollie Lawrence leading the way with a brace apiece.
The scoring was the exact reverse of many recent matches when Warriors had played their best rugby in the first half but struggled to score in the second. Here they dominated the first period but had only a converted try from Hougaard to show for their wealth of possession and territory.
After Hougaard completed his brace early in the second half, Melani Nanai put Warriors in control with a brilliant score following a perfectly weighted pass from fly-half Duncan Weir.
Lawrence’s two tries gave Warriors a 20-point cushion which Irish nibbled away at with unconverted tries from Ben Meehan and Tom Homer.
Warriors had the final say with an unstoppable drive from a last-minute lineout from which wing Tom Howe emerged with the ball.
The final try equalled Warriors’ best away haul in the Premiership – matching the six they scored at Leicester in September 2018.
The win completed a second double of the season for Solomons’ men with the first also coming against Harlequins – Irish’s temporary landlords.
Warriors will face already relegated Saracens at Sixways on Wednesday, September 30 at 5.30pm before rounding off the 2019/20 season with a trip to the AJ Bell Stadium to face Sale Sharks on October 4.