Walker wins it for Warriors
Willie Walker's drop goal with just 49 seconds remaining gave Worcester a thrilling 13-12 victory over Wasps at Sixways.
Last Updated: 28/02/09 5:59pm
Willie Walker's drop goal in the final minute gave Worcester a thrilling 13-12 victory over Wasps at Sixways.
The fly-half, a recent loan signing from Gloucester, was on target with just 49 seconds left to settle a scrappy Guinness Premiership clash.
The visitors should perhaps have realised it wasn't going to be their afternoon when they found out they would be without their two senior coaches.
Both director of rugby Ian McGeechan and defence coach Shaun Edwards were stuck in Paris after encountering problems getting back from Wales' RBS Six Nations fixture in France on Friday night.
Assistant Liam Holden and part-time coach Tony Hanks were left in charge, their first issue a delayed arrival at the ground.
It wasn't until 40 minutes before kick-off that Wasps made it to the venue and it was no surprise that they struggled for fluency after such hectic preparations.
They did manage nine points in the opening half, all kicked by number 10 Danny Cipriani, but were unable to find a way through a Worcester defence that had leaked 13 tries in their last three outings.
Josh Lewsey came closest to scoring but a crunching tackle from Alex Grove stopped the former England international reaching the line.
Having been so impressive in defence, rookie centre Grove then showed off his skills in attack on the half hour when he picked off an errant pass and ran in from 40 metres.
Walker slotted over the conversion but Cipriani's third successful kick just three minutes later meant Wasps led 9-7 at the interval.
The Warriors worked their way back in front on 52 minutes when Walker knocked over three points after Serge Betsen had fallen foul of referee Martin Fox for killing the ball.
Cipriani, though, followed suit shortly after the hour mark to put the visitors 12-10 up and when Walker was unable to land a 70th minute penalty, Worcester looked to be heading for defeat.
But with the clock running down and the game on the line, the New Zealander held his nerve to drop over the match-winning three points and make himself an instant hero at his new club.
The result pushes Worcester 13 points clear of bottom side Bristol in the battle to beat the drop from the Guinness Premiership.