Joe Simmonds scored 16 points in Exeter’s win at Sixways
Worcester: (7) 21
Trying to: Hearle, Simpson, Lawrence Cons: Williams 2, Searle
Exeter: (22) 36
Trying to: Simmonds, Capstick 2, Woodburn, Maunder Cons: Simmonds 4 Handles: Simmonds

Crisis club Worcester Warriors avoided any serious survival problems as they gave Exeter Chiefs a real game before narrowly losing at Sixways.

The 2020 double winners beat the Warriors five tries to three in a match that was only given on Friday.

Exeter ran in three tries as they led 22-7 at the break.

The Warriors rallied to score eight points twice in the second half, but eventually ran out of steam.

But despite showing huge spirit on the pitch in front of a reduced crowd of 4,999, Worcester still faced a real struggle off the pitch to secure their immediate future.

Co-owner Jason Whittingham issued another statement saying he believed the club would still have new owners – and investment – within the next 48 hours.

But the Warriors still had to take to the field last season – and the game was only able to go ahead because the club’s staff made sure it went ahead by working for free.

It looked ominous when Exeter scored their first attack in just the second minute when full-back Joe Simmonds went over the left in a three-on-one break.

Scotland prop Murray McCullum was lucky to avoid a red card for his late challenge on Simmonds, which connected with his head – but referee Matthew Curley ruled that the first contact was on his shoulder and only warranted a yellow card.

Exeter scored again in the 17th minute before McCallum returned to the field when Harvey Skinner’s back pass forced Richard Capstick into the right corner.

But six minutes later, Ollie Lawrence created the platform for winger Alex Hearle to score from the left – and Owen Williams kicked his first effort at the Sixways since suffering a serious hamstring injury when he slipped while attempting a shot on goal 12 months ago .

That put the Warriors back in touch at 12-7, but Exeter restored their 12-point lead nine minutes after the break when Capstick crossed again from the right – and Simmonds again converted before adding a penalty to extend Exeter’s lead to 22- 7 for a break.

The Warriors got off to a flying start straight after the restart when they got their second try, latching on to Joe Batley’s break down the left, which resulted in Gareth Simpson scrambling to score under the post, allowing Williams to pull the Warriors back to 22-14.

But Ollie Woodburn, just booked two minutes earlier, went unopposed in the left-hand corner to give Exeter a bonus point.

The Warriors weren’t done though as they went over for a third try from England center Ollie Lawrence, this time upended by Billy Searle.

But Jack Maunder went under the posts to settle it with Exeter’s fifth try, Simmonds adding his fourth conversion.

Worcester: Shilcock; Humphreys, Lawrence, Venter (capt), Hurle; Williams, Simpson; Morozov, Langdon, McCallum, Batley, A Kitchener, Lee-Warner, Nield, Dodd.

Replacements: Fyva, Sutherland, Tyack, Kitchener, Quesick, Chudley, Searle, Heward.

Exeter: J Simmonds; Nowell, O’Loughlin, Whitten, Woodburn; Skinner, Townsend; Hepburn, Yendle (capt), Street, Dunn, Gray, Kirsten, Tsiunza, Capstick.

Replacements: Inard, Kenny, Schickerling, Van Heerden, Ewers, Maunder, Kata, Cardero

Judge: Matthew Carley

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/62933667?at_medium=RSS&at_campaign=KARANGA

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