Warriors 55-21 Hartpury RFC
WARRIORS kicked off their 2017/18 pre-season campaign with a convincing nine-try victory over Championship outfit Hartpury at Sixways on Saturday.
Winger Josh Adams’ first-half double gave the hosts a 10-0 lead, before Ed Sheldon crossed the whitewash for the Gloucestershire side.
Summer signing Pierce Phillips then forced his way over for a debut try to give Worcester a 19-7 lead at the interval.
Fielding a completely different side after the break, Warriors continued to dominate after a score from Hartpury’s Elias Caven, as Dean Hammond sandwiched a brace of tries between two scores from hooker Matti Williams.
James Williams got on the scoresheet late on for Hartpury, but the hosts had the final say when youngster Tom Howe raced over for his debut try, before Hammond added his third to wrap up the resounding win.
Director of rugby Gary Gold’s side started strongly and were ahead just two minutes in when Ben Howard teed-up Adams, who crossed in the corner.
The Welshman then added his second when he claimed a crossfield kick from Jackson Willison to touch down.
Hartpury hit back courtesy of a stylish Sheldon try in the corner, before Jacob Perry converted to reduce the arrears to 12-7.
But the hosts stretched their lead just before half-time when Phillips bundled his way over from close range.
It took the 15 new faces on the field to kick-off the second half time to settle in, as Hartpury hit back again when winger Caven picked up a loose ball in his own half and raced 70 metres to the tryline, with James Williams’ conversion reducing the deficit to five points.
Worcester found their rhythm thereafter though, as Will Butler set-up Matti Williams to race underneath the posts, before Hammond found himself on the end of another good move to open up a 31-14 advantage.
The South African then grabbed his second and Warriors’ sixth try just before the hour-mark when he found himself on the end of a high ball forward from Olver, before racing down the left to score.
Matti Williams then added his second of the game after good work from the forward pack, before his Hartpury namesake James scored a consolation try for the visitors.
But the Sixways side made sure they put a marker down ahead of the new season when Howe raced away for Warriors’ eighth score, before Hammond sealed the game with his hat-trick try.
Warriors continue their pre-season campaign this Friday when they take on Birmingham Moseley at Billesley Common (Kick-off 7.30pm).