Warriors got their Gallagher Premiership campaign off to the best possible start with a fifth straight win over Leicester Tigers in all competitions.
First half tries from Ted Hill and Perry Humphreys and 14 points from the boot of Duncan Weir helped Warriors to complete a quickfire double over Leicester following victory in the Premiership Rugby Cup last month.
The scoreline perhaps did not reflect how Warriors dominated for long periods of the match but handling errors and a heavy penalty count at the breakdown prevented them from converting second half pressure into more points.
But Warriors again demonstrated a fierce will to win and n ability to retain their composure under pressure with Weir levering over three penalties in the final quarter to deny Leicester a bonus point.
Weir’s accuracy proved decisive as Leicester missed three penalties including two in the final quarter when the match was still in the balance.
Leicester were unrecognisable from the side Warriors trounced in the Premiership Rugby Cup four weeks ago but it was centre Tom Hardwick, one of the few survivors from that encounter, who gave Tigers the lead with a third minute penalty.
Warriors hit back in style with a rampaging Hill clattering down the right wing after he was set free by a lovely pass from Ryan Mills. Hill had plenty to do when he got the ball but he handed off one tackler and battered his way past full-back George Worth to touch down.
Weir’s conversion from the right hand touchline struck the left post but bounced out.
Leicester hit back with try from hooker Tom Youngs who was smuggled over from a driving maul after Hardwick kicked a penalty into the corner for the lineout.
Hardwick added the extras but Warriors looked sharp in attack and they crafted a try for Perry Humphreys that was all about support play. Melani Nanai made a half-break and slipped the ball to Chris Pennell who found Cornell du Preez in support. The number eight took the ball into contact but popped it up for the supporting Humphreys who went over for his second try of the season against Leicester.
Weir added the conversion but Warriors’ lead lasted only six minutes as Hardwick slotted a penalty after Warriors were penalised at the breakdown.
That score was cancelled out by a penalty from Weir but Warriors had to defend determinedly to hold onto their lead.
Leicester kicked two penalties to the corner and again tried to force their way over from a driving maul but Warriors stole the second lineout with the final play of the first half.
Leicester did regain the lead early in the second half when Hardwick struck a penalty but that proved to be their last success as EW Viljoen and then Hardwick both missed with penalty attempts in a costly three minutes period.
Instead Weir rewarded Warriors for a passionate display by rewarding Warriors for the tenacity and picking up the penalties when they were on offer.
His longest range effort five minutes from time gave Warriors some breathing space and his last, a minute from time, started the celebrations.
Warriors | 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Ashley Beck, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Melani Nanai, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Francois Hougaard, 1 Callum Black (Waller 56), 2 Niall Annett, 3 Conor Carey (Palframan 78), 4 Anton Bresler, 5 Graham Kitchener (Fatialofa 51), 6 Ted Hill, 7 Marco Mama (C), 8 Cornell du Preez (van Velze 63).
Replacements | 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Michael Fatialofa, 20 GJ van Velze, 21 Jono Kitto, 22 Jono Lance, 23 Francois Venter.
3m | Hardwick pen 0-3
6m | Hill try 5-3
10m | Youngs try 5-8
11m | Hardwick con 5-10
28m | Humphreys try 10-10
29m | Weir con 12-10
35m | Hardwick pen 12-13
38m | Weir pen 15-13
48m | Hardwick pen 15-16
64m | Weir pen 18-16
75m | Weir pen 21-16
80m | Weir pen 24-16
Match Report from Worcester Warriors