Worcester’s thrilling comeback seals Premiership Rugby Cup final win over London Irish after extra time
- Worcester 84th-minute try forces extra time
- Paddy Jackson misses four straight penalties for hosts
- Warriors hold on to win 25-25 on tries scored
LOndon Irish and Worcester could not be separated after 100 minutes, with Worcester winning the Premiership Rugby Cup and the club’s first major trophy after beating the Irishman by three tries to one after Paddy Jackson missed several penalty attempts for win the contest in overtime.
Tries from Matt Kvesic and Perry Humphreys gave Worcester a narrow half-time lead, before Jackson’s boot rocked the Irish contest until Kyle Hatherell crashed with the clock in the red to send the final into extra time.
Jackson and Fin Smith penalties opened the scoring before Worcester veteran Matt Kvesic took advantage of the Irishman’s sloppy defense at the ruck with some shrewd play to pick up and burst clear, scoring under the posts with Smith converting to give Worcester the lead.
As the Worcester defense halted the Irish attack, Smith extended the lead to 3-13 after the Exiles pulled away from offside chasing a loose pass.
The Irishman appeared but after a dominant scrum Henry Arundell and Will Joseph, both called up by England earlier on Tuesday and with Eddie Jones in the stands, helped spark an attack before Ben White slotted through a gap to score, Jackson’s conversion drawing the Irish level at 13. -13.
Worcester, who had the better first half, looked set to fall behind on the scoreboard after Jackson’s third penalty but a clean pass from Smith allowed Humphreys to work outside Arundell and overtake him to score in the corner, giving Worcester a narrow 16-18 halftime lead.
Worcester captain Ted Hill appeared to have started the second half with a kick for Worcester scoring under the posts, only to be brought back for an earlier punch.
The prop substitution could not prevent Worcester from being penalized in the scrum, converted by Jackson to edge ahead of the Irish again. A second penalty from Jackson gave Irish a four-point lead, with Worcester continually pulled back by Wayne Barnes for a backchat, a lopsided penalty tally hurting Worcester’s chances.
With the Worcester scrum still bleeding penalties, Jackson added three more to make it 25-18. After Jackson missed a penalty, Worcester had a late chance with three successive penalties in the corner, followed by another for offside well into the 80 minutes. Finally, Worcester opened the Irish Open, working through the stages before Kyle Hatherell crashed through the posts, converted by Smith to send the final into extra time.