With Worcester and Russian side, Enisei STM, going head-to-head this weekend at Sixways in the European Challenge Cup, we take a look back at some of their previous meetings. 

Enisei 19-12 Warriors – October, 2016

These two sides met back in the 2016/17 European Challenge Cup campaign in Moscow, where Enisei were playing in only their second ever season in the second-tier European competition.

And it couldn’t have gone any better for them. Enisei prevailed 19-12 against a very inexperienced and youthful Warriors side that included the likes of Dean Hammond, Josh Adams, Jamie Shillcock, Will Butler and Jack Singleton.

Josh Adams was, of course, on the scoresheet that day on what was described as a “cabbage patch” by Matt Cox. He said the pitch was “like a prison pitch”.

“We had to travel to Moscow and, with all respect to them, it looked like a prison pitch. It was very narrow and like a cabbage patch because it was soft underfoot and made the game very slow.” Warriors were coached by Sam Vesty in European competitions that season and he fielded a side averaging just 22 years-of-age.

Warriors 57-14 Enisei – January 2017

The home match of that season was a complete reverse of the result out in Russia and was actually a complete replica of the match In Russia this season, as Warriors triumphed 57-14 at Sixways.

Warriors scored nine tries in all, with Dean Hammond stealing the show with a first-half hat-trick. Sam Betty, Val Rapava Ruskin and Ben Howard also crossed the whitewash as Warriors ended their European campaign in style.

The game involved the likes of Joe Taufete’e, Tiff Eden and Donncha O’Callaghan. It brought to end a disappointing tournament for the Warriors, who ended with two wins and four defeats.

Enisei 14-57 Warriors – November 2019

Having tasted defeat the last time they travelled to Russia, Warriors were to get their revenge against Enisei this time with a thumping win.

Plenty of changes were made by Alan Solomons but Warriors were to have far too much for the Russian side, who were playing their home matches around 4,000 miles from home.

Infront of a very low crowd in a vast stadium, Worcester excelled, in particular, Jamie Shillcock, who managed a hat-trick of tries from fly-half. Justin Clegg, Richard Palframan, Jono Kitto, Oli Morris, Nick David and Gareth Simpson all notched tries of their own as they cruised to victory.

What have we learned?

Well, from the last two games we can tell that the Warriors should have far too much quality for this Russian side, regardless of the changes.

Solomons has made 12 from the side that lost to Saracens and there will definitely be a reaction from them on Saturday, especially being at home.

Whilst Enisei are a big, strong outfit and you would expect them to come at Worcester in the opening stages, the Warriors should be able to flex their attacking muscles and play some free-flowing rugby.

The bonus-point will be the aim and they should get it relatively comfortably. A performance and result is necessary to build some momentum into next week’s tougher clash with Castres.