19th Jul, 2019

Warriors set for festive crunch clash with London Irish

Aaron Wise 20th Dec, 2017

WARRIORS will be looking to bounce back from recent Aviva Premiership and European Challenge Cup defeats when they take on basement outfit London Irish in a crucial clash at Sixways on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).

Worcester lie six points ahead of their visitors in the Premiership standings, having picked up two wins in their last three league fixtures.

London Irish have won just once this season, relying on bonus points to keep them in pursuit of Premiership safety.

A win for the Reading-based club could pull them to within one point of Worcester and repeat the festive horror-show of last Boxing Day when basement side Bristol beat Warriors 28-20 to close the gap to two points.

That result ultimately led the club to bring in Gary Gold as director of rugby to help secure their Premiership status.

Warriors will be looking to recover from their recent stutter in form, following a 24-21 defeat to Sale at home – Sharks’ first away win since February – and a 27-20 loss to French Top 14 side Oyonnax in Europe.

Worcester did, however, salvage a losing bonus-point in last Friday’s defeat to Oyonnax at the Stade Charles-Mathon.

Sam Olver and Julien Audy exchanged early penalties, but a Joe Taufete’e yellow card was followed by tries from Vincent Lasmarrigues and Audy against Warriors’ 14-men.

An Audy penalty on the stroke of half-time gave the hosts a healthy 20-3 lead, but the visitors hit back with an Olver penalty, before the fly-half then converted his own try.

Valentin Ursache crashed over from the restart for Oyonnax, but Alafoti Faosiliva showed tremendous power and pace to score.

Olver’s conversion cut the deficit to seven points, and the losing bonus-point keeps Warriors in the hunt for a place in the quarter-finals.

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