Thinus Delport 8         Tony Windo           Darren O'Leary          
Dale Rasmussen 7         Ben Daly           Stuart Smith          
Ben Hinshelwood 8         Neil Lyman           Lee Fortey          
Thomas Lombard 8         Tim Collier           Stephen Sparkes          
Ben Gollings 7         Craig Gillies           Neil van Niekirk          
James Brown 9         Leon Greef           Mark Gabey          
Mat Powell 9         Pat Sanderson           Siaosi Vaili          
.           Drew Hickey           .          

It Worked Like A Charm!  Socks, earrings and a taxi…Rugby supporters are a superstitious lot.  It doesn’t matter that James Brown is oblivious to Chris’s blue and gold club socks or that Pat Sanderson is unaware that Rosemary has unearthed the earrings that ensured victory in every game last season. 

For the fan, such talismans are worth a try: literally as well as metaphorically!  On Saturday afternoon, it seemed that 7,000 Worcester supporters had all brought their lucky charms.  Their combined power, allied to the magic skills and team-work of the magnificent Warriors, conjured the result we had hardly dared dream about.

Most of the pundits had tipped a Quins victory. They were desperate for a win and had Premiership experience; we had been pounded last week at Sale; the honeymoon was over for us; we had done well for new boys, but this was ZP……  

It goes to show that you shouldn’t listen to armchair experts; Sixways supporters know that their team doesn’t give up so easily. Carmina Burana blared across the ground, the crowd roared and the Warriors marched out to war. 

       

As JB strode purposefully back to he nice warm seat in the West Stand an air of confidence not felt by the supporters emanated from that happy "smiling" face Just what did he know?? Had he and AK sussed the Quins and set a game plan to win the game??

After last Friday nights game where lessons were given and hopefully learnt, had the coaches been able to lift and motivate their charges? First to come onto the field were "14" Quins where was that 15th man, oh here he comes, still tying his shorts, still tying his boots, he was obviously focussed on this game?? The Harlequins from the moment they took to the field looked a defeated group of players, they did not look like a team of players ready to play for each other.

The omens looked good indeed

       

Out came the mighty Warriors and didn't they get a cheer.

The Crowd rose in a tumult of sound, cheering, screaming for their warrior team. Then the chant started to rise up Warrioorrrs.....Warrioorrrs. The volume rose higher and higher, then the thunder started to roll in as the East Standers stamped their feet faster and faster, harder and harder.

It was magnificent stuff. Ask yourselves, "did your heart beat faster did you gulp for air as the passion and adrenalin rose and pulsed through your veins. This was Sixways at its best, as it should be for every home game. AS IT WILL BE!!

       

Amidst the noise Harlequins got the game underway. The noise rose a further 10 decibels.

The ball rose into the air twisting and rolling as it at arched towards the waiting warriors. dropping, into those safe hands of the giant Craig Gilles and we were off.

Dear me we were off. At a gallop, straight into the attack, don't give them time to think. Get up and at em!! The ball went wide for the midfield to then straighten and head for the South Stand in the straightest possible line. Test out the defence. Who were there first at the breakdown? Need you ask, it was Pat Sanderson very quickly followed by Drew Hickey and Leon Greef.

Quins were forced to relieve the pressure out to touch. Not a good thing to do against Gillies and Co. However the first line was overthrow.

       

I told you too much excitement and adrenalin. However we won the ball back at the very next breakdown and attacked down the left. The forwards were steaming in, no prisoners being asked for or taken, it was fast powerful and totally controlled. A line out was again conceded as Quins tried desperately to clear their line. the ball was won easily and the drive was on!!

Quins had no answer but fought bravely to stem the surging Warriors pack. the ball was moved out and once again the centers attacked direct into the midfield.

The ball was recycled by Mat Powell who was a breath of fresh air behind the scrum. Confident talking guiding his chariot forward. The ball was eventually forced out on the right for Worcester to win yet another lineout. Once again the drive was set up, sucking in the smaller, weaker Quins forwards.

This was going to be a hard day, they would be tested to the full

       

With yet another drive set up by the big man Tim Collier, doesn't he just love it in there.

The Warriors inexorably moved towards the Harlequins try line. Would they score this time, would Quins defend yet another drive the answer came from Captain Pat Sanderson coming away with the 5 pointer.

Up stepped James "B" and calmly very calmly stroked the ball, bisecting the uprights with the precision of a guided weapon

Warriors 7 : 0 Harlequins

What we had seen in these first 6 minutes was real focussed endeavour orchestrated by Pat Sanderson and Mat Powell. Mat was already causing major problems with his speed,  power and vision. He was taking his chance with both hands!!

       

Straight from the restart Worcester were straight back onto the attack forcing their way back into the Quins half. Lead once again by some sniping breaks from Powell and clever grubbers from James Brown who was revelling in the time and space he now had.

Another great break from Powell lead to Club Captain Ben Hinshelwood, who had moved out to the wing to score the second try out wide on the left. the touchline kick being wonderfully converted by that man James Brown

Warriors 14 : 0 Harlequins

       

Harlequins, upped their pace and attitude. They were not going to be beaten by these upstarts newly promoted from Division 1.

The warriors backed off just enough to allow them some time and they took full advantage as the drove into the Warriors heartland. the ball was slipped out to Duffy who went outside Lombard and Rasmussen to score a neat try. the last attack of any desire from a woeful Quins outfit!

Worcester 14 : 7 Harlequins

       

It was now time for the Warriors half backs to take the game by the scruff of the neck and shake it.

Brown with Powell inside him was a different player. He was running onto the ball with much more confidence and purpose. This gave his centers space to create some attacking ploys. Lombard was taking it direct into the midfield punching half gaps in quite a weak defence. the ball was then moved wide at speed creating gaps for Delport and Gollings to use

But above all else it was the pack the pack who were so utterly dominant that was causing the biggest problem for the "Fancy Dan's".

Greeff was substituted early for a heel injury, giving an opportunity for Siaosi Vaili to come on. He was another who took his opportunity driving and carrying the ball at ease through the flaky defence.

There were spells of Harlequins attacks but the petered out through lack of ideas or just simply lost the ball. There was not a lot outside the pack even with two internationals at Center.

Worcester pressured and pressured driving the pack forever backwards. In the scrums they were magnificent and with Horsman soon to come back it is starting to look like we have got the pack in tune.

The confidence was high as several kickable penalties were spurned in search for the 7 points

       
 

As the half was coming to a close the next penalty would be taken for goal.

However in the meantime we still had time to see some cameo darts from Mat Powell around the base of the scrum and mauls. he fully deserved his man of the match awards for his first half achievements alone.

On the stroke of halftime James Brown took a penalty kick for goal which just scraped wide of the posts. Would this be costly??

Half Time Warriors 14 : 7 Harlequins.

 
Produced by JP Services