Warriors off to winning start
Sale sent packing at Sixways
Last Updated: 03/09/11 6:10pm
Benjamin crosses in the corner during Worcester's win
Worcester opened their Premiership season with a hard fought 17-12 win over Sale at Sixways on Saturday.
The hosts scored the only two tries of the game despite a spirited display from Sale and should have won more comfortably than the final scoreline suggested.
Sale's only points came via the boot of Nick Macleod, beginning with a third minute penalty after a bright start by the visitors took them into the Warriors 22.
Sale lost Rob Miller to a heavy tackle straight after and Worcester began to gain the momentum, Alex Grove and Andy Goode testing the Sale defence with searching runs.
Goode was involved again with another excellent break but wing Miles Benjamin could not finish off the move and was bundled into touch in goal.
Goode missed the Warriors' first opportunity to put points on the board from long range on 24 minutes, and moments later the fly-half was off-target again with straightforward 30-metre kick.
Macleod struck a simple drop goal to give his side a 6-0 lead but Worcester hit back with their first try on the stroke of half time.
Claassens latched onto a long pass and skipped through Joe Ward's tackle before releasing Benjamin who went over in the corner.
Goode slotted the extras to take his side into the break with a 7-6 lead, but just two minutes after the restart he missed his third penalty after the Sale scrum infringed again.
A succession of five-metre scrums saw Sale put under intense pressure and after conceding a number of penalties referee David Rose eventually awarded a penalty try.
Goode converted but Macleod struck a penalty on 56 minutes to cut the deficit, although he failed to reduce the arrears further just moments later.
Macleod missed another chance and Goode extended the Warriors' lead with his first penalty with just eight minutes left on the clock.
Mcleaod cancelled out the points with his third on 76 minutes, but it was too late for the visitors and the fly-half was left rueing those two missed chances