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Page last updated at 19:49 GMT, Saturday, 9 April 2011 20:49 UK

Warriors see off Exiles in Championship play-off battle

Marcel Garvey
Marcel Garvey was the Warriors try-scorer in a tight game at Old Deer Park

Worcester survived a major scare in a hard-fought match at London Welsh to secure a home Championship play-off with a 22-20 win at Old Deer Park.

Marcel Garvey crossed the Welsh line on 13 minutes with Andy Goode converting to give Worcester a 7-0 lead.

But the Exiles hit back with a try of their own through Hudson Tonga'huia which was converted by Gordon Ross.

Goode then landed three further penalties to Ross' one to give the Warriors a 16-10 half-time lead.

A further Goode penalty on 52 minutes appeared to give the Warriors some breathing space as the extended the advantage to nine points before he and Ross again traded penalties.

In a very tight and bruising game, chances for tries were at a premium but London Welsh were to have the last say in this aspect as Eerie Claassens, who has just signed for the Warriors , set up a tense finish when he crossed in the final minute.

Ross was again on target with the conversion to bring London Welsh back to within two points and they then had a chance to seal what would have been a famous victory.

Warriors turned over possession and in their desperation to win it back they then conceded a penalty five metres inside their own half.

With time fast running out, Ross lined up what would have been a match-winning penalty attempt but his effort fell just short.

Worcester will round off their group matches with a home match against Bristol on Saturday, 16 April, but they are now guaranteed a home tie in the Championship play-off semi-finals.


Worcester head coach Richard Hill told BBC Hereford and Worcester:
"A 16-10 [half-time] lead was excellent against the wind and we had that wind behind us in that second half and I suppose I really thought we would put a lot of pressure on them and get away from them.

"But they put up a real fight and I was disappointed at the start of the second half when we turned them over and kept the ball for two minutes and got a penalty.

"We should have gone for three points, the players know that but we went for a scrum and knocked the ball on and London Welsh relieved the pressure.

"But just after half-time, to have gone up 19-10 would really have put them under massive pressure."


London Welsh: Thomas, Drauniniu, Tonga'uiha, Whatling, Claassens, Ross, Runciman, Pittman, Ma'asi, Ward, Powell, Corker, Mills, Hills, Russell.

Worcester: Arscott, Garvey, Crockett, Rasmussen, Benjamin, Goode, Arr, A. Black, Fortey, Taumoepeau, Kitchener, Gillies, Best, Kvesic, Horstmann.

Att: 2,057

Ref: Tim Wrigglesworth (RFU).



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