Newent upped their game in the second half to distance themselves from a Worcester side whose big pack caused the hosts problems at the set pieces but were short on creativity and conceded multiple penalties, writes Simon Barker.  

Coach Sam Goatley was pleased with his side’s “mature” performance in the second half and praised a composed display from 17-year-old Harry Tovey on his first start at fly half.   

Newent got off to a flying start with a try inside two minutes.  When Worcester were penalised on their 22 Josh Preston took a quick tap and found James Hartland in support. 

The outside centre was stopped just short of the line and his attempted offload didn’t go to hand, but Jack Devries was quickest to the loose ball and stretched to touch down.  Jacob Ivell’s conversion looked good but the referee ruled it wide.  

Newent struggled to build on their fast start, although most of the game continued to be played in Worcester territory.  There was little pace to their play and they struggled for good quality set piece possession.  Both sides were coughing up penalties with regularity but the visitors had particular problems at the breakdown.  Newent opted to go for the corner from a penalty in front of the posts on Worcester’s 22, but then went for the posts from another penalty at least 15m further back - Jacob Ivell’s kick was off target.     

Penalties put Worcester in the home 22 for a prolonged period and they threatened from a series of 5m scrums.

They were held up over the line on one occasion, but the Newent defence kept their line intact.  Worcester did reduce the deficit when Jack O’Hagan kicked a three pointer, after a penalty against the visitors was reversed following some afters from Newent.  

The siege was lifted with a counter-attack led by Alfie Larcombe and taken on by Jordan Devries, who was stopped just short at the cost of a penalty.  Newent opted to go for goal when Worcester were penalised again but Tovey was off target.  Will Hartland ran back the resultant 22m drop out to set up a ruck which saw yet another penalty against Worcester.  The referee yellow carded Jack O’Hagan and, in the last act of a scrappy half, Tovey made it 8-3.

Newent started the second half with much more energy and James Hartland made a great run which was stopped 5m short.  Worcester infringed again in the tackle area and Matt Henry took the tap and drove low through four tacklers to touch down.  Harry Tovey added the extras for 15-3.  

A strong carry by Jack Devries from an under-pressure scrum on the home 2 was taken on by Will Hartland.   Worcester infringed again at the breakdown and Harry Tovey kicked the goal.  

Newent ran the next penalty and a sweeping attack ended with Jack Devries touching down in the right-hand corner, but the final pass was ruled forward.  Another multi-phased attack drew a further penalty opportunity for Harry Tovey which he kicked to extend the lead to 21-3.  

The hosts were pressured into conceding penalties in their 22 with Worcester opting to scrum but itbackfired when they were penalised at a reset, allowing Newent to relieve the pressure.  

With the game into stoppage time, another penalty gave Newent a lineout just outside the Worcester 22.  Jacob Ivell hit at pace and broke tackles before crossing in the right-hand corner and touching down nearer the posts – making for an easier conversion for Harry Tovey, who landed his fifth successful kick of the day to cap an assured debut.