Worcester 23

Whitchurch 23

The old cliché, a game of two halves, could not be more accurate when applied to this mid-table clash.

Delays on the M5 caused five of the Whitchurch players to arrive late and the lack of a full warm-up showed as Worcester attacked from the off.

It was no surprise that they went ahead after 10 minutes through a penalty.

Whitchurch woke up and began to exert their own pressure and, halfway through the half, they scored a sumptuous try when Ryan Horton delayed his pass to Henry Hockenhull who cut through the defence untouched to put down under the posts.

Danny Nicholas, who went on to give a masterclass in kicking out of hand, converted. It was from a long, raking kick into touch just short of the home line that Worcester were forced to throw in from only five metres.

The Reds made them fumble at the lineout and Tommy Hale pounced on the loose ball to cross the line with the whole home pack on top of him.

Nicholas did the honours with the conversion and the visitors looked to be cruising at 14-6 up.

The lead was extended by Nicholas with three penalties interjected by one from Worcester.

The half-time score of 23-6 looked ominous for the home support.

The second half began with Whitchurch in a daze.

Firstly, the Reds’ talismanic number eight, Jack Furnival, had to go off injured, followed shortly by hooker Jake Bailey.

Their replacements performed excellently but there is no denying that the disruption seemed to alter the mindset of the visitors.

A scrappy converted try by Worcester bolstered their confidence and they were soon attacking again.

They substituted their hooker and within two minutes the replacement was swinging punches wildly.

A red card was inevitable and again things looked bleak for Worcester.

However, it was the home team who seemed galvanised by this setback and within 10 minutes scored again after a series of penalties against Whitchurch for indiscipline.

The try was converted and Worcester were now hunting and another penalty for indiscipline was kicked and the teams were, somehow, equal.

The last 10 minutes saw Whitchurch rise up again but could not get across the line.

Man of the match was Jake Rees for his covering and aggressive charges.

Whitchurch are at home next week against Droitwich with kick-off at 2.15pm.