A beautiful sunny Cardiff morning saw the Warriors head to the capital for part of a triple header of Cymro/English clashes.
The holiday season took it’s toll on player numbers with a full ¾ line in Greece and several others missing. The lure of the international was also too much for some though Lloyd showed his commitment to the team but agreeing to feature for the 1st half before heading off to the Stadium.
With the Chiefs and Griffins just winding up the Warriors were (as ever) the last to arrive but the Warriors quickly lined up. The backline wasn’t shy of pace with Simon Day dropping back to full back and James Anthony moving in to centre giving Nick Dcruz a full run out on one wing. Dan Grinter dropped out of the pack to cover the other flank. Jon Kearney playing inside Anthony and Jamie at 10 were the only players in their usual positions then as Kieron Morgan answered the SOS and played at 9.
Things were a little more familiar in the forwards, Colin Tacon, Mark Lewis, Rich Evans and Jason Jenkins all offered plenty of experience in the front row where James Duke joined them. Tom completed a planned move into 2nd row alongside Crawley and Pollitt. Haines was happy to drop to 8 with Pearce and Lewis flanking beside him. Prior to the match Rich Evans was chosen, unopposed, to Captain for a 3rd season.
It was the Warriors 1st meeting with Worcester Mixed Ability who were starting their 4th season and their opponents had the dream start. From kick off a strong running forward broke three tackles to score the 1st points of the game. Worcester continued to hold the upper hand but neither side dominated the game as it ebbed and flowed.
Although Worcester scored again, the Warriors spent long periods on the try line and though credit is due to the Worcester defence, they should have turned this into points well before Mark Lewis managed to twist over.
There were some game performances from the Warriors, Duke and Crawley battled hard up front whilst Anthony and Dcruz looked sharp in attack. They were edged from Man of the Match though by Thomas Ashour who won his lineout ball and showed up around the field in both attack and defence. Simon Day tried hard at full back and Dai Haines carried well all game.
Worcester though scored a third try to put daylight between the teams and eased up a little towards the end. This allowed Darren Pollit to score a try and James Anthony rounded things off with a scampered effort that possibly included a knock on.
It ended then with a reasonable scoreline of 28-21 to Worcester, worthy winners despite their own selection issues.
Coaches Jamie and Gwilym were pleased with many aspects of the performance and many of those missing may find their path back not as easy as they imagined.
Scorers: M Lewis, Pollitt, Anthony (tries), Pollitt, Anthony (2) (conversions).
Man of the Match: Tom Ashour
A frustrating match to play in at times, the Warriors could have pushed harder for the result. Still it made for a good day and kept the spectators entertained. Kearney and Gwil played through the pain of wasp stings in the barmy Cardiff sunshine but these were the only injuries of note (though Hapus did want to go off because he was “tried” at one point.
Back at Llandaff, once we had found which seats we were allowed we had the pleasure of Wales not only beating England (in front of various English rugby players) but also of seeing them go 1st in the world rankings. Colin had an especially good day as he had North as 1st & last try scorer.
The bus back home had a stop for beers and at Duchess’s palace and thankfully only a little nakedness. Then most people either went to see Shawodawady or to a hot tub party! we’re that sort of club!!!