Worcester Warriors completed the Zurich Premiership double over NEC Harlequins this season thanks to a 15-9 victory at the Stoop. In what was a very disappointing match, Warriors fly half James Brown outscored Jeremy Staunton five penalties to three, as Quins had to settle for a losing bonus point from their afternoons work.
Worcester had the better of the opening exchanges and their pressure was rewarded after seven minutes. After the pack had driven play deep into Quins twenty-two, the hosts were penalised for being offside that presented Brown with a simple kick from in front of the posts to open the scoring.
Staunton responded in similar fashion to level the score just five minutes later, with Worcester guilty of killing the ball. The Quins fly half was then at the heart of setting up the home sides best try scoring opportunity of the match as the game entered the second quarter.
Staunton made a break into the Worcester twenty-two and released Gavin Duffy, who was held-up agonizingly short of the line. Quins then lost possession at the resulting scrum five-metres from the Worcester line, allowing the visitors to clear the danger.
12 minutes before the interval and the hosts took the lead for the only time in the contest, as Staunton converted his second penalty of the half after Worcester were penalised for obstruction. Brown saw a long-range drop goal attempt drift well wide of the target on the stroke of half-time, which meant Quins led 6-3 at the halfway stage.
Brown opened the scoring in the second half 12 minutes after the restart, with his second penalty leveling the match once again (6-6). Just before the final quarter began, it was Worcester's turn to be denied a try. Flanker Drew Hickey excellent run was halted just short of the line but with Quins penalised for being offside, Brown put the visitors back in front (9-6).
Duffy was then penalised for holding on in the tackle 14 minutes from the end; a penalty that Brown converted and when the Worcester number ten claimed his fifth successful kick of the match eight minutes from the end, it crucially opened up a two-score lead (15-6).
A late rally from Quins saw them take play from their own twenty-two deep into Worcester territory, where they were awarded a penalty six minutes into injury time. Staunton took the three points on offer to secure the bonus point, but the final whistle followed immediately.
During week commencing 22nd April Harlequins will launch an innovative, new Membership Scheme which will replace the existing Season Ticket Holder Programme. Further details of the scheme will be announced in due course.