Warriors secure promotion
Leeds' relegation confirmed as Worcester bounce straight back
Last Updated: 18/05/11 11:05pm
Miles Benjamin celebrates his crucial try at Sixways
Worcester have been promoted to the Aviva Premiership after securing a 46-32 aggregate victory over Cornish Pirates in the Championship play-off final.
After winning the first-leg 21-12 in Penzance, the Warriors recorded a 25-20 triumph on home soil on Wednesday night.
The result confirms Leeds Carnegie's relegation to the second tier of the English game.
Wingers Marcel Garvey and Miles Benjamin claimed touchdowns early in each half, while former Leicester and England number 10 Andy Goode finished with a 15-point haul.
Full-back Rob Cook kicked two penalties for the Pirates and added conversions to centre Drew Locke's score and a late penalty try.
Worcester head coach Richard Hill made one change to the team victorious a week ago, with Scotland international centre Alex Grove preferred to Alex Crockett, while Pirates handed starts to Locke and number eight Kyle Marriott.
The Pirates took an early lead when Cook found his range with a 30-metre penalty, however Goode quickly landed an equalising strike, and that was the cue for a period of sustained Warriors pressure.
With prop Adam Black and lock Greg Rawlinson making their final appearances for the club, Worcester established immediate scrum dominance, and former Gloucester wing Garvey scampered over for a 12th-minute try with the Pirates pack back-pedalling.
Goode converted, and the visitors found themselves 16 points adrift on aggregate approaching the end of a one-sided opening quarter.
A Goode drop-goal then took Worcester further ahead, and although the Pirates strung together some threatening passages of play sparked by fly-half Jonny Bentley, they could only add another Cook penalty as Warriors led 13-6 at the interval.
And Worcester wasted little time in making things safe at the start of the second period as Benjamin and Goode both breached the Cornish defence from long range.
The Pirates conjured a touchdown for Locke, assisted by the outstanding Bentley and his Harlequins-bound midfield colleague Matt Hopper, but Worcester had done their job despite leaking a penalty try from a scrum.
With promotion all-but assured, the final 20 minutes gave Worcester fans a chance to start taking in what awaits them next term.
New Sixways arrivals during the summer include former England internationals Shaun Perry and Chris Jones, while experienced Premiership prop Ceri Jones will arrive from Quins.
Hill, though, will be under no illusions at the size of Worcester's task just to retain Premiership status, a challenge that proved beyond Warriors last year when they finished bottom by four points after winning just three of their 22 league games.