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Saracens shocked by Worcester loss

Saracens' hopes of finishing top of the Aviva Premiership were dealt a huge blow when Worcester pulled off a shock 16-11 win at Sixways.

Saracens took an early 8-0 lead and for most of the first half the Warriors struggled to contain the visitors who played a game of huge tempo. The home defence looked sure to crack and a heavy defeat for the Warriors seemed probable but somehow Worcester held on, grew in confidence, and ultimately secured an unlikely victory.

A delighted Richard Hill, the Warriors coach, said: "The Saracens were scintillating in that first half hour. I was sitting on the bench thinking to myself, this is going to be a long night."

He added: "We were just hanging on in there and they should have scored a couple of tries."

A penalty from Andy Goode and a converted try from Alex Grove just before the interval saw Worcester enjoy a scarcely believable 10-8 half-time lead.

Hill added: "That (Grove's) try was massive as it gave us the impetus we needed just before half-time.

"We knew they could run out of steam as they had a much quicker turnaround than we did (Worcester played last Friday at Sale whilst Saracens faced Leicester last Sunday). In the second half they kicked the ball a lot more and played into our hands."

Disappointed Saracens coach Mark McCall rued his team's performance, saying: "We played brilliantly for 30 minutes but we missed a couple of opportunities. After that initial half-hour we lost the penalty count 12-1, which is incredible.

"We are unbelievably disappointed but we have to be more disciplined and more composed."

Saracens have now lost their last two games and face a difficult match against Northampton next Sunday. McCall accepted this would be a tough game but said: "We have six games in the regular season to play. We want to get into the top two so as to ensure that we have a home semi-final."

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From Belfast Telegraph