The Worcester exeter is proving to the league that he can safely host matches at Sixways
Exeter comes on the back of a victory statement against Leicester
The Worcester owner threatens to lay off staff hours after pledging to work for free
28 min: Worcester 7-17 Exeter
After a slow start, this is a better defense from Worcester. They earn a penalty after a great job at the breakdown. Come Exeter again though.
O’Loughlin takes a break and feeds Woodburn. Townsend then changes the game and there is space on the right. Once again it’s Capstick wide on the outside after a big Nowell offload. The N. 8 finishes the job.
28 min: Worcester 7-12 Exeter
Pat Schickerling is in place of the injured Marcus Street.
28 min: Worcester 7-12 Exeter
Exeter set the unit from after securing the lineout. Shunza leads powerfully to the sidelines but the ball is knocked over by O’Loughlin and Worcester have a truce.
26 min: Worcester 7-12 Exeter
Exeter is trying to answer here. They build through clever phasing around the breakdown until they receive a penalty. Back to the corner.
Marcus Street is being treated.
23 min: Worcester 7-12 Exeter
Williams converts … GAME. ON.
23 min: Worcester 5-12 Exeter
Worcester clears their lines after earning a penalty and are trying to set up some play in the offensive phase.
Ollie Lawrence does well to break through three tackles. From the next stage, the ball comes to the left and Alex Hearle moves away from the Exeter defenders along the sideline to score.
20 minutes: Worcester 0-12 Exeter
Simmonds is safe under the high ball and Exeter clears their line. They quickly retrieve it via Jonny Gray.
Penalty in Exeter for a high tackle by Fergus Lee-Warner – the Chiefs go to the corner.
16 min: Worcester-Exeter 0-12
Simmonds covers from the sideline.
16 min: Worcester-Exeter 0-10
Jack Nowell continues to do well for Exeter. It’s the best game on the pitch right now.
Simmonds throws a wide pass to Woodburn which leads well. A strong retrieve from Gray brings Exeter into the 22, before the ball goes wide to find Capstick on the wing. He is not stopped from there. A second attempt for the Chiefs.
13 min: Worcester-Exeter 0-5
The messy play of both teams leads the ball to tick over Owen Williams. He plays the percentages and kicks in to block Exeter just off his 22m line.
10 minutes: Worcester 0-5 Exeter
Worcester’s big outburst knocks out scrum-half Simpson. He puts a grubber who falls over the goal line but Simmonds is there to land. I abandon the goal line.
8 min: Worcester 0-5 Exeter
Exeter goes to the corner and sets up a spinning club. They then earn another penalty and Exeter chooses to tap and go. They cross the line but Capstick is held back by a gritty Worcester defense.
6 min: Worcester-Exeter 0-5
Murray McCallum receives a yellow card for a high contrast. He might be lucky in all honesty.
6 min: Worcester-Exeter 0-5
The ref is looking for a potential red card for a high tack here …..
2 min: Worcester 0-5 Exeter
The first pressures of Exeter say. The ball is reversed on a midfield ruck and there is a huge overlap on the left side. Joe Simmonds crosses easily but fails to convert.
Great start by the Chiefs.
Guard of honor
Worcester players received an honor guard on the pitch prior to the Exeter clash from club employees who worked wonders to get this game
The kick-off is upon us
Here we are.
All Sixways fans were crammed into the east stand today. They let out a huge roar as the Warriors emerged from the tunnel.
The emotion here today is palpable.
Not long now
The teams are making final preparations in the locker room ….
For at least 80 minutes it is time to focus on rugby here in Worcester.
Drive to Sixways
Statement by Worcester co-owner Jason Whittingham
As for the new owners. We are in the final stages with the heads of state and we hope to make a formal announcement about them in the next 48 hours … The buyer is absolutely committed to rugby at Sixways.
The buyer is aware of the immediate cash needs and has confirmed its willingness to inject funds early next week. These are mainly to meet August salaries and ensure that all September commitments are met on time as well.
The staff “we genuinely understand their justifiable frustrations and, at times, anger. Even that of the fans and the community ”.
The recent communication posted on the club’s official channels was, technically, a breach of contractual obligations but we are not trying to point the finger or fire anyone.
People will write their own version of events with my premise that I have always acted in the best interest of the club and the community to preserve this club and rugby
A Sixways swan song?
This from our reporter Charles Richardson at Sixways
Disturbing is the only word. Worcester have sold the maximum of 5,000 tickets for this match, a formidable indictment to their loyal fan base, and everyone in attendance here today – where the feeling is just that, unless a miracle occurs, this it’s a Sixways swan song – they will be crammed into the eastern ground grandstand.
On the west side, however, where the media portal and the players’ changing rooms are located, is a ghost town; the equivalent of Chernobyl rugby. The doors of all the rooms and bars are open and free, but with no lights on, no people and, above all, no drawn pints. The only light in the West Stand’s much-loved Scrum Club is the soft glow radiating from the beer fonts behind the bar.
The only reason this match is taking place is due to the good will of the staff, fans and people in the area. Next week, they’re not going to be that generous – everyone has their breaking point, after all – so unless a miracle deal is done in the next 48 hours, these folks are likely to say goodbye to Sixways today.
Welcome to Sixways for a match that many hardly thought would take place just earlier this week.
Thankfully, Worcester were able to prove to RFU that they would be able to safely host this match against Exeter, after club staff “worked wonders” to prepare the facilities.
Speaking earlier in the week, the club’s rugby director Steve Diamond said: “If people don’t get paid and suppliers don’t get paid, then I don’t think logistically, the game can go on. Let’s hope it’s not another false dawn.
“These people [buyers] they have to deliver and I think they are struggling with that.
“If it turns out to be a rooster and ox story, then it will be out of the question this weekend because we won’t play.”
However, the efforts of the Sixways staff have earned them an 11-hour suspension, which means they will face Exeter in front of their fans this afternoon.
Fortunately, for at least 80 minutes, off-court distractions can take a back seat, but the Warriors face a tough test of their metal this afternoon.
Welsh international opener Owen Williams will make his first start with the Warriors. Williams suffered a severe hamstring injury while attempting to kick a conversion against former Gloucester club in his third appearance with the Warriors last October.
Williams is one of three changes to the Warriors starting XV with Curtis Langdon, who scored a debut try when he came off the bench last week, starting as hooker and Tom Dodd at number 8.
Exeter have entered really high at this moment after beating the Leicester champions in a superb race at Sandy Park last weekend.
Patrick Schickerling’s last-second try solved an enthralling 24-20 game and warned the rest of the league that Exeter should return to the forefront of the domestic game this season after a disappointing season in 2021/22. .