Premiership: Worcester Warriors 17-18 Northampton Saints
|Worcester (10) 17|
|Tries: Hammond, Heem Cons: Shillcock 2 Pen: Shillcock|
|Northampton (9) 18|
|Pens: Myler 6|
Stephen Myler kicked six penalties as Northampton came from behind at Sixways to end Worcester Warriors' unbeaten Premiership home record this season.
Warriors led 10-9 at the break after centre Wynand Olivier cleverly created a gap for winger Dean Hammond to score.
Myler then landed five more penalties before Worcester scored again with a minute left through Bryce Heem.
Worcester were then also awarded a last-minute penalty from halfway, but Jamie Shillcock's kick fell just short.
Young utility back Shillcock, starting at stand-off for the first time in the Premiership, had given the hosts the lead with an early penalty. before slotting both his conversions, the second of them from the right touchline.
Had he landed his long last-gasp penalty attempt, he would have punished the rashness of Saints forward Calum Clark, who conceded that late match-winning penalty chance by bundling a Warriors player off the ball into touch in the wake of Heem's right-wing corner try.
Clark was sent to the sin-bin, referee Greg Macdonald also further penalising Saints by allowing Worcester to restart the game with a penalty from the halfway line, but Shillcock's kick did not quite carry.
It was otherwise the reliable Myler's show as he landed five more kicks to add to his early penalty, cashing in on the injury-hit Warriors' indiscipline as the hosts conceded a remarkable 18 penalties to six..
Having matched Shillcock's early three-pointer, he missed with the second of his four first-half penalty attempts, but his nine-point first-half haul kept the Saints in touch.
Myler added three more points as Northampton, weakened by international calls, led for the first time early in the second half, in the same incident that saw home centre Ryan Mills yellow-carded.
Myler's fifth successful kick on 52 minutes stretched the visitors' lead to 15-10 - and he looked to have Saints' second away league win of the season safe six minutes from time, only for Warriors to almost sensationally snatch it.
Worcester head coach Carl Hogg:
"We gave away a lot of penalties, which gave them a foothold in the match. There were seven shots at goal, six of which were kicked but some of the penalties seemed to be questionable.
"Every time they had the ball, we gave away penalties. They were very robust and very resilient but ultimately we should have won.
"We had an opportunity to win but we didn't take it so there's a sense of frustration as we were good with ball in hand.
"I thought Jamie Shillcock was very accomplished for his first start at 10 in the Premiership while it was great to have Bryce Heem, Ryan Mills and Cooper Vuna back playing."
Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder:
"We've got 12 players on international duty and it's a different type of team but we still have plenty of experience. We are not playing as well as we can but winning is important and winning away is massive.
"We didn't start well as we conceded an easy early try but we controlled the middle period well with some sensible kicking and good defence.
"Eight points up with a minute to go, the game shouldn't have been in doubt. We shouldn't have been conceding a try out wide and then a lack of discipline gave them a chance to win.
"Calum pushed someone as he was disappointed in conceding the try. It was a disappointing thing to do but he has apologised."
Worcester: Pennell; Hammond, Olivier, Mills, Vuna; Shillcock, Arr; Rapava Ruskin, Annett, Schonert, O'Callaghan, Barry, Potgieter, Kirwan, Dowson (capt).
Replacements: Singleton, Leleimalefaga, Daniels, Kitchener, Cox, Dowsett, Adams, Heem.
Sin bin: Mills (45)
Northampton: Foden; Elliott, Burrell, Hutchinson, Wilson; Myler, Dickson; Waller, Haywood, Brookes, Paterson, Day, Gibson, Clark, Dickinson (capt).
Replacements: Clare, Denman, Hill, Craig, Nutley, Kessell, Olver, Collins.
Sin bin: Clark (79)
Referee: Greg Macdonald
For the latest rugby union news follow @bbcrugbyunion on Twitter.