22 Aug 14
Debutant Gerrit-Jan van Velze will captain Warriors when they take on Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 2pm).
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Worcester v Chiefs
Worcester Warriors v Exeter Chiefs
Exeter Chiefs (H)
29/08/2014, KO 19:30
Fri 29th Aug 14
Worcester 33-38 Chiefs
W L L L W
L W L L W
Second half tries from Alex Grove and Tim Streather completed the campaign for Warriors who went out on a high with a bonus point win in the Northern Conference.
With Director of Rugby Mike Ruddock watching from the stands, James Collins was named skipper for Warriors who included Matt Cox and Graham Kitchener in the starting line-up fresh from the Guinness Premiership clash with Wasps at the weekend.
However, it was Sale who enjoyed early dominance and after a catch and drive the visitors rumbled over for the opening score after less than two minutes from James Jones.
Warriors responded with Fellows making good yards before Joe Carlisle's stunning cross field kick was collected by flying wing Odouza at full pace and he raced over for an immediate reaction from the hosts.
Warriors were enjoying some early success in the set piece and a knock on from the Sale full back gave the home side a real promising attacking platform. Grove was then next Warrior to show a neat side-step in midfield but the ball was again lost forward.
Carlisle was pulling the strings for the home side in midfield and kicked to the corner after a succession of penalties against Sale. Greg King showed his strength and speed to race up close before being dragged down. The game was held up by an injury to prop Charley Thomas who was replaced by Michael Hill.
Sale mounted a rare attack at the midway stage of the half with their forwards taking the ball on after Worcester were penalised for hands in the ruck. Again they showed their strength to push up close with Alex Shaw flopping over to regain the lead for the visitors.
A superb pick up by Carlisle was followed by an instinctive flick pass from Grove that threatened to open Sale up. Warriors suddenly showed slick hands through Oduoza, Phil Murphy and King to rush forward before Cox burst through the middle with his offload just straying forward as he looked to apply the finish to a great passing move.
Sale ended the half in the ascendancy as they piled on the pressure to try and stretch the lead before the break. Wing Nick Royle showed neat footwork to cut inside before a poor chip by fly half Chris Parrot was taken by Will Runciman to avert any danger. A front row injury to Hill meant the enforcement of uncontested scrums just before the interval.
Just before the break a flowing move sliced the Sale defence wide open and the impressive Fellows capped fine first half to take advantage and coast over with Carlisle adding the extras for a 12-10 half-time lead.
Warriors picked up where they left off after the break with Fellows again darting through before his floated pass to King freed Murphy to make yards down the right wing.
Oduoza looked to hack on only to be crudely bundled into touch off the ball. From the lineout the backs were released and wing Oduoza was again in the thick of the action as he passed for Grove only for the centre to be held up as he crashed for the line. Seconds later, though, he was not to be denied as Grove again made a dart and was pushed over by the supporting Warriors.
Carlisle and Fellows exited the action but there was no let-up by the home side as Jake Abbott bulldozed through men before fit-again Ryan Powell was introduced.
Worcester continued to enjoy territory and possession as the half wore on with Abbott close to latching onto a loose ball before replacement Streather scorched over before picking himself to convert his try as the lead was extended to 24-10
Sale staged a brave fight-back but Warriors slammed the door shut before Kitchener threatened to latch onto a kick over the Sale full back with a real turn of pace from the tall lock.
Powell threatened to score a late stunning solo try with a neat chip over the top after an initial burst of pace took him past men before the finish whistle signalled a Warriors win.
02m Jones t 0-5
04m Oduoza t 5-5
22m Shaw t 5-10
40m Fellows t Carlisle c 12-10
54m Grove t 17-10
68m Streather t Streather c 24-10
Warriors: 01 Callum Black, 02 Jordan Page (Lewis 67), 03 Charley Thomas (Hill 15 (Everett 37), 04 Graham Kitchener, 05 Phil Murphy, 06 Jake Abbott, 07 James Collins (c), 08 Matt Cox (Mullan 62), 09 Will Runciman (Powell 58), 10 Joe Carlisle (Streather 54), 11 Charlie Fellows (Penn 54), 12 Greg King, 13 Alex Grove, 14 Uche Oduoza, 15 Tom Wheatcroft
Replacements: 16 Sam Lewis, 17 Michael Hill, 18 Craig Everett, 19 Liam Mullan, 20 Ryan Powell, 21 Tim Streather, 22 Michael Penn