Rugby Union
Heartbreak for Warriors as Exeter strike late

By Geoff Berkeley 15/04 Updated: 25/04 13:57

Worcester Warriors 26 Exeter Chiefs 31

Aviva Premiership

Geoff Berkeley reports from Sixways

WORCESTER Warriors suffered a sickening blow as two tries in the final two minutes gave Exeter Chiefs a dramatic victory at Sixways on Saturday.

Luke Arscott's try handed the visitors an early lead before scores from Craig Gillies and Miles Benjamin put Warriors in front.

But Chiefs held the upper-hand going into the second period after Bryan Rennie's try just before the break.

With Exeter at one point down to 13 men, Worcester looked on course for the win as the boot of Andy Goode took Richard Hill's side into a 26-19 lead.

But in a late twist, Phil Dollman burrowed over two minutes from time before Sireli Naqelevuki crashed over in the final play of the game to snatch victory.

Keen to continue their winning record at Sixways in 2012, Warriors began on the front foot and nearly took the lead three minutes in. Marcel Garvey burst through a gap before quick hands saw Chris Pennell over, but he was unable to touch down after being brilliantly held up.

After Benjamin missed another opportunity moments later, Warriors quickly paid the price as Ignacio Mieres slotted Exeter into the lead.

The visitors began to up the ante and increased their lead on 16 minutes. After pinning Worcester back, Mieres picked out Luke Arscott with a perfectly waited cross field kick for the full back to score.

The hosts responded well and quickly closed the gap to one point after Craig Gillies forced his way over, which Goode converted.

Mieres missed the chance to extend Exeter's lead with a penalty from distance, but soon made amends to put his side 11-7 in front.

The match then took another twist and in bizarre fashion. Andy Goode chipped into space before Grove hacked forward. The ball looked to be heading out of play but cracked the top of the ball before falling into the path of the onrushing Benjamin to touch down. Goode again added the extras to give Warriors a three point advantage.

This looked to be enough to see Worcester in front at the interval, but Rennie popped up to slice through the home side's defence and score.

Mieres put Exeter further ahead in the second half with a penalty, which Goode failed to follow up as his effort bounced off the right-hand post.

Gonzalo Camacho was then sent to the bin after lifting Grove off his feet. Goode nailed the resulting penalty to cut back the deficit before Exeter went down to 13 men after Arscott saw yellow.

But Warriors could only muster two Goode penalty during this period as Garvey was denied a try following a forward pass in the build up.

The returning Camacho was then ruled out a try in similar circumstances before Goode slotted over to take Warriors into a 26-19 lead with ten minutes remaining.

But with Chiefs piling forward, Worcester could not hang on as Dollman darted over after the ball was switched wide. The conversion was missed to the relief of the Warriors fans, but there was still time for one more score.

After Goode punted the ball from the restart, Exeter crucially held on and moved down field before Naqelevuki barged his way over to score at the death.

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