Worcester Warriors v Wasps: three classic matches
Worcester Warriors and Wasps kick off their Gallagher Premiership Rugby campaigns on Saturday September 1 in what promises to be a high-scoring encounter.
As the two West Midlands sides go head to head, here’s a recap of three of their most memorable clashes over the years.
Cowan and Arr see Warriors to victory
Before Wasps joined their counterparts in the West Midlands, they succumbed to defeat at the hands of Worcester back in 2013, the last time Warriors were victorious 29-23 in this contest.
Worcester legend Chris Pennell scored the opening try of the match, before David Lemi added another less than 10 minutes later to put the hosts in the driving seat at the break.
Rhys Thomas responded for Wasps, powering over in the second half to close the gap to four points, before Ashley Johnson put them ahead as the game reached boiling point.
A score from Blair Cowan put Warriors back in control, then Jonny Arr sealed the triumph late on to give Worcester their first win in three months, with Jack Wallace managing a last-minute consolation for the visitors.
📅 Counting down the days until game one.
See you there! 😎 pic.twitter.com/mw13T8qfJK
— Worcester Warriors ⚔️ (@WorcsWarriors) August 4, 2018
Thompson and Halai seal Wasps comeback
The first ever encounter between the two sides in Coventry, in January 2016, was full of drama and was a sign of what was to come.
Two early penalties from Andy Symons put Warriors ahead, before Cooper Vuna intercepted and raced down the wing to consolidate the lead just before half-time.
Kearnan Myall ran in under the posts to level in the second half, before Symons added three more penalties to put the visitors 22-13 up with 15 minutes to play.
However, a late surge from Wasps saw them dramatically come from behind as Guy Thompson dotted down to cut the deficit to two, then Frank Halai put Wasps ahead in the final minutes after a fluid backline move.
To add insult to injury, Wasps’ winger Sailosi Tagicakibau got on the end of an Ashley Johnson clearance to touch down as Worcester went in search of the draw and left themselves open at the back, concluding a stunning contest.
Wade steals the show
The return fixture involved even more action, as the first ever West Midlands derby at Sixways ended 35-54 in a 14-try thriller.
Christian Wade undeniably stole the show on his 100th appearance for Wasps, scoring an incredible six tries to see the visitors lay down a marker as the season approached the business end.
Halai opened the scoring before Wade got his first to give Wasps a strong early lead, but Francois Hougaard responded with a score from close range.
However, Wade had his hat-trick, and Wasps their bonus point, by half an hour as the England winger touched down twice in quick succession.
Warriors refused to lie down though, as Vuna dived over to keep the game within touching distance despite Wade going over once more before half time after latching onto a clever grubber.
Worcester replied again after the break through Symons, but they couldn’t handle Wade’s electric pace as he intercepted and crossed for his fifth, which was intercepted to double Worcester’s score at 40-20.
Unbelievably the game still hadn’t finished, as Halai stole another interception to race down the wing and put Wade in for his sixth and final try to the delight of the travelling fans.
Warriors weren’t done either, with skipper GJ van Velze and Bryce Heem grounding late on to keep hopes of comeback somewhat alive, until they were crushed by Alex Lozowski putting the cherry on the cake for Wasps with a final-minute score.