27 Jul 15
With Warriors deep in the midst of their pre-season campaign we caught up with new signing Darren Barry in our new Get To Know... feature.
Director of Rugby Mike Ruddock admitted his side had failed to perform in the clash at Vicarage Road.
"We didn't perform against Sarries," he said. "The crucial moments were the sin bins as they scored and we failed to.
"Our basics let us down and the penalty count hurt us. We put ourselves under pressure and I felt it was an opportunity missed.
"Now we have to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves down. We didn't play to our potential and we have to move on and pick it up for the next game."
Warriors made one change to the side that beat Bristol to record a first league win of the Guinness Premiership season with Tom Wood replacing hamstring victim Drew Hickey in the back row.
Worcester looked the part in the early exchanges as Saracens let the kick off drop and forced full back Brent Russell into a rushed clearance. Warriors kept it tight from the lineout and Loki Crichton gave them the dream start as he dropped into the hole to slot the drop goal for the early lead.
Saracens impressive looking forwards responded with a real power packed charge up the field that showed real menace and when the backs took over only a forward pass denied lock Hugh Vyvyan from an immediate response as he dived over.
The home side were really looking to slick the ball about in the back division and after some real pressure should have drawn level on eight minutes when the normally reliable fly half Glen Jackson dragged a penalty wide. But less than 60 seconds later he made a more difficult chance count as he drilled the kick through the posts to level the scores.
Worcester hit back with some neat ball retention as they looked right through Gear and Aleki Lutui only for New Zealand lock Greg Rawlinson to be penalised and possession to swing back to the hosts.
An electric line break from Russell and elusive runner Richard Haughton saw Warriors struggling to keep the hosts under control down the right wing. From the scrum Saracens rumbled up close and the made forward power count once again with a series of set pieces that put Worcester in increasing trouble. But when the ball was spun wide a monster hit from centre Sam Tuitupou saw opposite number Rodd Penney hold onto the ball and the penalty went the way of the visitors.
Saracens should have edged ahead but Jackson again sliced a penalty after offside wide of the uprights on 20 minutes. Worcester rallied with Crichton kicking over the top to force wing Francisco Leonelli to backtrack and mop up the sudden visiting danger. Warriors attempt to take a quick lineout backfired and Thinus Delport was forced to hurriedly slice clear. However, the forwards came to the rescue as they slammed the door shut on the try line.
At the midway point of the half, Worcester suddenly mounted a counter attack of real power and pace when the ball spat out the side of a ruck. Possession was fed to Gear who tore down the right wing and made 60 metres before being dragged down. Warriors went for quick ball from the breakdown but were denied by Penney who was sent to the sinbin. Crichton, though, failed to land the resulting penalty as his effort dropped short of the bar.
Saracens were down to the 14 men but put Worcester on the back foot with a drilled kick finding a superb touch before Lutui's throw from the lineout was called not straight to hand the ball back.
A penalty at the scrum saw Jackson make amends for some earlier shocking misses with a kick that, although looking shaky as it glanced against the post, edged his side back in front.
Worcester looked to make the numerical advantage count as they looked wide through Gear and he beat the first man before being pushed into touch. But Penney returned without Warriors landing a point, a period that looked set to be crucial to the final result.
Handling errors in midfield by Saracens gave Warriors the ball back just before the break but poor decision making denied them any attacking platform and when Matt Powell was caught holding on Jackson once again should have done better with the penalty before the half-time whistle.
A high penalty count continued to hurt Warriors in the second half but Craig Gillies was beginning to become a difficult proposition in the lineout as he disrupted ball for Saracens.
But at the same time Jackson's clever drilled low kicks into the corners were causing Warriors a problem and when Pat Sanderson was sinbinned the home side turned the screw.
Jackson slotted a penalty on 48 minutes to put Saracens 9-3 ahead with just over half an hour to go but when the home side immediately infringed on the floor and Crichton added three points for Worcester.
Saracens made the extra man count when the forwards surged in close to the line on 52 minutes. Warriors frantically defended but when it was spun out wide a two-man overlap saw hooker Fabio Ongaro dive over to open the try account for the day. Jackson made no mistake as he added the extras for a 16-6 lead.
Worcester replied with some clever play by the backs to release Darren Morris and Tom Wood and Gear cleverly danced his way past two men before his flick to Miles Benjamin drifted forward and the platform was lost.
Sanderson returned for Warriors from his binning and Netani Talei and Ryan Powell also entered the battle field but it was still all Saracens pressure as they looked for the score that would end the game as a contest.
Tuitupou made 30 metres with a quick burst but was then adjudged to have held on and Jackson slotted the penalty as Saracens slowly took complete control of the contest.
Front row Matt Mullan was brought on for Tevita Taumoepeau, Will Bowley took the place of Craig Gillies and James Brown replaced Crichton as Worcester looked for a way back into the game.
Jackson wasted another penalty chance with just over ten minutes remaining and Warriors rallied with some late pressure as they hunted a losing bonus point but it proved too little, too late.
2m Crichton dg 0-3
10m Jackson p 3-3
30m Jackson p 6-3
48m Jackson p 9-3
49m Crichton p 9-6
52m Ongaro t Jackson c 16-6
63m Jackson p 19-6
Warriors: 01 Darren Morris (Black 74), 02 Aleki Lutui, 03 Tevita Taumoepeau (Mullan 64), 04 Greg Rawlinson, 05 Craig Gillies (Bowley 67), 06 Tom Wood (Talei 58), 07 Pat Sanderson (c), 08 Kai Horstmann, 09 Matt Powell (Ryan Powell 58), 10 Loki Crichton (Brown 67), 11 Miles Benjamin, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 13 Dale Rasmussen, 14 Rico Gear, 15 Thinus Delport (Pennell 72)
Replacements: 16 Callum Black, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Will Bowley, 19 Netani Talei, 20 Ryan Powell 21 James Brown, 22 Chris Pennell