Heem hat-trick helps Worcester claim first Premiership win of the season

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Bryce Heem scored a hat-trick of tries as Worcester picked up their first Aviva Premiership win of the season with a bonus-point 30-15 success over Northampton at Sixways.

The victory took Worcester off the bottom of the table and two points above London Irish, who face Bath at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday.

Josh Adams was Worcester’s other try scorer, with Jono Lance adding two penalties and a conversion and Chris Pennell a single conversion.

Ben Foden and Jamie Gibson scored Northampton’s tries in the second half with Stephen Myler kicking a penalty and conversion, but it was not enough to prevent the visitors from slipping to a fourth defeat of the campaign.

Northampton took a fifth-minute lead through Myler’s simple penalty but they trailed 15-3 at the end of an error-ridden opening period as Worcester hit back after a sluggish start.

The lack of fluency in the game was not helped by first a delay of over three minutes while Worcester prop Nick Schonert changed his boots, and then another stoppage as a dazed Luther Burrell left the field for a head injury assessment.

England squad member Piers Francis came on as a replacement and it took until the 19th minute for Warriors to break out of their own half.

Saints winger Ken Pisi lost possession on the opposition 22, allowing Ryan Mills to boot the ball into the visitors’ territory and when Northampton were penalised, Lance tied up the scores with a penalty.

Four minutes later, Worcester scored the first try of the match. Adams made good ground along the left flank before Mills made a clean break to send Heem over.

Burrell failed to reappear, having failed his assessment, before Saints suffered a further setback when centre Rob Horne picked up a yellow card for a high tackle on Pennell.

Another high tackle on Pennell, this time from Francis, gained Warriors a platform in the visitors’ 22 from which the powerful Heem crashed through a couple of defenders to score his second try.

Just before the interval, Horne returned from the bin in time to see Myler miss a long-range penalty, leaving Saints 12 points adrift at the break.

After the restart, Worcester remained in control with Lance extending their lead with a second penalty before the Warriors scored a brilliant try.

From a turnover on halfway, Worcester moved the ball sweetly along the line for Adams to easily evade Pisi before exchanging passes with Pennell for the wing to cross.

Pisi was immediately taken off and the decision paid dividends soon after when his replacement, Foden, finished off some creative play from Myler and Harry Mallinder.

Lance missed a straightforward penalty but it made no difference as Northampton never looked like clawing back the deficit despite grabbing another try from Gibson five minutes from time, with Myler adding the extras this time.

There was late drama when, with the last movement of the match, Horne tip-tackled Lance for the Northampton centre to receive a second yellow and therefore a red card before the move carried on for Heem to crash over to complete his hat-trick and seal the bonus point.

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