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Match Reaction: Worcester Warriors 41 Bristol Rugby 24

Director of Rugby Gary Gold praised Worcester Warriors’ defensive efforts despite surpassing 40 points in Aviva Premiership Rugby for just the second time with a 41-24 win over Bristol Rugby.

Warriors secured the try bonus point inside 40 minutes as Francois Hougaard, Will Spencer and Bryce Heem all touched down after a penalty try within two minutes of kick-off.

Heem added a second before a consolation score from Max Crumpton and an intercept try for Tom Varndell, but Wynand Olivier secured the win when he dived on Ryan Mills hack through.

And Gold admitted that the Warriors executed their plans to perfection as they moved within five points of tenth-placed Sale Sharks.

“We knew what we wanted to try and do, keep as much pressure on them as possible and it helped to get the start we did,” he said.

“But I thought they’re a good team with ball in hand, we knew our defence would have to be resolute and I thought it was good for large patches of the game.

“I thought he fought really hard and made good decisions at the breakdown. We didn’t over-commit numbers when we didn’t need to and I think we were effective in the tackle itself.

“Disappointing to concede the intercept try but there’s so many positives today I’ll focus on those. It’s important we use this as a base and grow from it and we are going to have to travel better.”

With Jason Woodward’s first-half try being added to by Crumpton and Varndell, Bristol were only a single try away from salvaging a point from their trip to Sixways.

But they left empty handed and now trail Worcester Warriors by seven points and head coach Mark Tainton conceded that his side had not been at their best.

“We let ourselves down a lot, we didn’t play to our potential,” he said.

“We had a poor start and it got worse after that in the first 20 minutes, we were behind the ball for a long time. We pulled ourselves back into the game but we were always behind.

“We gave away soft tries from line outs and our defensive structure wasn’t as good as it has been and they got momentum.

“We’re not going to throw the towel in. We have Gloucester in two-and-a-half weeks time we need to regroup and get focused on that game and we’ve got to get a win against Gloucester as simple as that.”

Worcester Warriors: Pennell (Humphreys 60), Heem, Olivier, Willison (Lamb 77), Adams, Mills, Hougaard, Rapava Ruskin (Bower 59), Taufete’e, Schonert (Alo 71), O’Callaghan (Cavubati 68), Spencer, Vui, Lewis (Potgieter 65), Mama

Replacements not used: Williams, Baldwin

Bristol Rugby: Woodward, Lemi, Hurrell (Pisi 40), Piutau, Varndell, Henson (Wallace 65), Mathewson (Williams 65), Bevington (O’Connell 70), Jones (Crumpton 65), Cortes (Ford-Robinson 40), Tuohy (Jeffries 34), Evans, Eadie, Lam, Crane (Fenton-Wells 65).

Replacements not used: none

Worcester Warriors:
Tries: Penalty, Spencer, Hougaard, Olivier, Heem 2
Conv: Mills 4
Pen: Mills

Bristol Rugby:
Tries: Woodward, Crumpton, Varndell
Conv: Henson, Woodward, Wallace
Pens: Henson

Referee: Wayne Barnes

Attendance: 11,499

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