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Saracens progress to LV=Cup semi-finals with convincing 22-12 victory over Worcester Warriors at Sixways
Five Ben Spencer penalties and an early try from Enrst Joubert saw Saracens book a place in the LV=Cup semi-finals as they beat Worcester Warriors 22-12 at Sixways.
Sarries were never behind in this match but two Warriors tries meant the Men in Black were never as comfortable as they might have been.
The visitors got off to the perfect start, catching Warriors cold with a try within five minutes as Jack Wilson, making his first start for Saracens, made a strong run down the left before Joubert darted through and touch down.
Nils Mordt added the extras to put Sarries 7-0 up and two minutes later the Men in Black extended their lead as Spencer took advantage of some Warriors indiscipline by slotting home his first penalty through the posts.
After a sloppy start Worcester began to come back into the match. Andy Goode was at the heart of the hosts' attacks and just after the quarter-hour a driving maul saw Blair Cowan cross the line.
Goode kicked the conversion to haul Worcester back to 10-7.
Saracens absorbed a sustained period of pressure with some resolute defending and just before half time managed to add to their advantage with Spencer kicking another penalty to make it 13-7 at the break.
The start of the second half saw Saracens restore a degree of control over proceedings, enjoying possession and seeming likely to extend their lead.
But, against the run of play, it was Worcester who added to the scoreboard next as Goode kicked brilliantly into the path of Josh Drauniniu who ran over the line for Warriors' second try of the match.
Goode missed the conversion as Sarries retained a 13-12 advantage with just under half an hour to play.
Saracens allowed themselves more breathing space as Spencer notched another penalty and he was unfortunate not to add another when his kick from the tee came back off the post.
With five minutes to go though Saracens were handed another penalty and this time Spencer made no mistake, sending the ball through the posts to make it 19-12 with five minutes left on the clock.
There was still time for one more Spencer effort as yet another Worcester infringement saw Sarries' scrum half kick his fifth and final successful penalty of the day to seal a convincing 22-12 victory.
Saracens: 15 Joe Maddock 14 Jack Wilson 13 Sam Stanley 12 Adam Powell 11 James Short 10 Nils Mordt (c) 9 Ben Spencer 1 Nick Auterac 2 Jamie George 3 Petrus du Plessis 4 Alistair Hargreaves 5 Alex Rae 6 Justin Melck 7 Nick Fenton-Wells 8 Ernst Joubert
Replacements: 16 John Smit 17 Richard Barrington 18 Matt Stevens 19 Maro Itoje 20 Jackson Wray 21 Luke Baldwin 22 Chris Wyles 23 Ben Ransom
Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell 14 Josh Drauniniu 13 Jon Clarke 12 Josh Matavesi 11 David Lemi 10 Andy Goode 9 Jonny Arr 1 Ceri Jones 2 Aleki Lutui 3 John Andress 4 James Percival (c) 5 Craig Gillies 6 Richard De Carpentier 7 Jake Abbott 8 Blair Cowan
Replacements: 16 Ed Shervington 17 Rob O'Donnell 18 James Currie 19 Matt Kvesic 20 Neil Best 21 Paul Hodgson 22 Danny Gray 23 Andy Short