Bristol bade a temporary farewell to the Memorial Stadium on Saturday but someone forgot to send Worcester the script as they ran in the only three tries of the game to complete a GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP double over their opponents.
In front of just over 9,000 supporters, Bristol fly-half Jason Strange claimed all the home side’s points and it looked as though he would snatch victory with the final kick of the game. But his 15-metre drop-goal attempt was charged down by the advancing Warriors defence.
Bristol included a number of players who will be not returning to the Memorial Stadium after the club’s two-year temporary move to Newport’s Rodney Parade while their present home is transformed into an 18,500 all-seater stadium.
Former Scotland prop David Hilton will be hanging-up his boots at the end of the season while centres Rob Higgitt and Sam Cox, replacement lock Sean Hohneck and former Wales A fly-half Strange are moving on to new pastures next season.
Joe Carlisle made his first Premiership start for Worcester at fly-half and he had a hand in their opening try as Miles Benjamin went through in the left corner.
Carlisle was off target with his touchline conversion attempt but opposite number Strange replied quickly with a 25-metre penalty followed five minutes later by a second from 40m.
Bristol continued to exert the pressure, Strange’s second and third penalties stretching their lead with a midway through the half.
Worcester had an opportunity to reduce the arrears 15 minutes before the break but Carlisle’s 35m penalty attempt fell well short.
Strange showed him the way as he landed his fourth from 30 metres.
The visitors’ problems got worse in the final 10 minutes of the half when blindside flanker Tom Wood was yellow carded by referee Ashley Rowden.
Wood had illegally tackled Bristol’s acting skipper Shaun Perry after the England scrum-half took a tap penalty.
Worcester managed to keep Bristol at bay and work their way to within 10m of the line.
With three minutes of the half remaining, they were awarded a penalty but Carlisle’s attempt went wide of the uprights.
The Warriors levelled the scores at 12-12 on the stroke of half-time as New Zealand centre Sam Tuitupou danced his way through slack defending, with Carlisle finally making a kick to convert the try.
Bristol started the second half in spirited fashion but they were unable to break through a solid Warriors defence.
They were awarded a couple of penalties and Strange maintained his perfect record by drilling them both between the posts.
Ten minutes into the half and Worcester were again down to 14 men when Benjamin was yellow-carded for preventing the ball being released when he tackled flanker Iain Grieve. Strange kicked the resultant penalty.
But the visitors continued to battle away as Marcus Galley collected a crossfield chip and slipped the ball to centre Rico Gear, who was quickly up in support to score the visitors third try. Replacement fly-half Shane Drahm converted from out wide.
With the game going in to the final 15 minutes, Strange missed his first penalty attempt but five minutes later Drahm put the visitors in front again with a penalty from wide on the left.
It ended up the winning score as Strange’s drop-goal attempt came to nought.