Worcester end season on winning note
May 10, 2014
Manu Tuilagi charges forward for Leicester © Getty Images
Worcester ended the season on a winning note as they dispatched Gloucester 28-27 at Sixways.
It was just their second triumph of a campaign that saw them relegated but the victory will give Dean Ryan's men some heart ahead of their season in the Championship next term. It was Gloucester who started the game the better of the two sides with Jonny May scoring a sensational solo effort and come the 22nd minute, they had managed to rack up two more with Shane Monahan and Sione Kalamafoni going over.
But Worcester refused to lie down and by half-time they had reduced the deficit to 15-17 thanks to tries from Semisi Taulava and Ryan Lamb. Josh Drauniniu then crossed in the 52 minute and following a second for May, Freddie Burns and Ryan Lamb exchanged penalties as Worcester headed into the final stages of the match one point ahead. Burns had a chance to win the game with a late penalty in what was his final match for Gloucester but his shot sailed wide of the posts.
Leicester Tigers booked a semi-final with Northampton Saints after clinching third place with a bonus point victory over leaders Saracens at Welford Road.
Justin Melck is sent-off © Getty Images
The reigning champions claimed a 31-27 victory after coming out on top in a dramatic 21-minute period either side of half-time when six tries were scored, Saracens winger Michael Tagicakibau was sin-binned and flanker Justin Melck was sent off for what was later confirmed as alleged contact with the eye of an opponent.
Leicester hit back from 8-3 to take a 10-8 lead just before half time thanks to a penalty try, while further touch downs from Manu Tuilagi, Blaine Scully and Graham Kitchener ensured they took a bonus point. Saracens' tries came from Ben Spencer (2), a penalty try and Jack Wilson, with Spencer's second four minutes from time earning his side a losing bonus point. They will play Harlequins, who beat Bath, in the other semi final at home.
London Irish ended their Aviva Premiership season in style by turning around a 10-point deficit to defeat sixth-placed Sale 22-20.
Irish trailed 20-10 early in the second half but produced a strong performance after the break to stun their visitors who had looked in control of match. Andy Fenby scored two tries while Marland Yarde also went over for the Exiles with James O'Connor kicking a penalty and and two conversions.
O'Connor also provided two scoring passes and Irish's win would have been greater had he been more accurate off the kicking tee. Sale scored first-half tries through Mark Easter and Tom Arscott with Joe Ford kicking two penalties and two conversions.
Exeter Chiefs cruised to a comfortable 23-13 win over Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park to clinch eighth place in the Aviva Premiership.
Luke Cowan-Dickie and Ben White grabbed close-range first-half tries to put the Chiefs in charge and ensure the Falcons' run without a Premiership win would be extended to 16 matches.
Henry Slade added a conversion and two penalties for the Chiefs to two from Joel Hodgson before a late flurry saw Fetu Vainikolo add Exeter's third try in the 79th minute and Falcons No8 Mark Wilson score in stoppage time with Phil Godman adding the conversion.
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