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Gloucester fend off the Warriors Gloucester fend off the Warriors

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Gloucester fend off the Warriors

Hazell is expected to start in the openside position when England tackle Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, be he now joins Robinson's long list of 'doubtfuls'.

If Hazell is ruled out, then Saracens skipper Hugh Vyvyan could land a call-up as Robinson finds himself rapidly running out of options.

Meanwhile, Hazell's team-mate Andy Gomarsall did his England's no harm on, guiding Gloucester back into the Premiership's higher echelons with Saturday's win.

Gomarsall is expected to see his England scrum-half place taken by fellow World Cup winner Matt Dawson next weekend, but he at least went down fighting, scoring Gloucester's second try and proving a constant threat for the Worcester defence.

Tongan wing Seti Kiole also added a first-half touchdown and prop Terry Sigley crashed over late on, while Henry Paul kicked two penalties and two conversions and Duncan McRae dropped a goal.

The win elevated Gloucester from seventh to fourth, keeping them in play-off contention. but it was another often subdued display.

Gloucester went 35 minutes without scoring a point – Sigley's score following a delightful Paul break ended that frustrating period – but they still finished without collecting a bonus point.

Worcester managed a late Matt Powell touchdown and 11 points kicked by fly-half James Brown, and their crunch basement battle with Harlequins on February 19 has now assumed even greater proportions.

Mumps victim Marcel Garvey withdrew from the Gloucester line-up and was replaced by England sevens squad member James Bailey, while Peter Buxton took over from flu-hit lock Adam Eustace.

England prop Phil Vickery returned from illness though, and Gloucester were quickly into their stride as Paul fired over two penalties in quick succession to knock Worcester's confidence.

The Warriors competed aggressively up-front, lock Tim Collier and skipper Pat Sanderson proving particularly combative, but Gloucester were a class above when it came to utilising possession.

Worcester's defence was unlocked in the 16th-minute after Gomarsall and Hazell probed tirelessly for an opening, eventually enabling Kiole to dive over wide out.

Paul's conversion attempt bounced back off the post, yet he made no mistake 17 minutes later, adding the extras to an opportunist Gomarsall effort.

Powell took an age to clear the ball inside his own 22, and Gomarsall punished his hesitancy, charging down the clearance and then gathering a kind bounce to touch down.

Brown kicked penalties either side of Gomarsall's try, but a 20-metre McRae drop-goal ensured that Gloucester secured the emphatic interval advantage that their territorial dominance commanded.

Hazell's departure disrupted Gloucester's early second-half momentum, and both sides were temporarily reduced to 14 men when Vickery and Worcester's South African hooker André van Niekerk received yellow cards following a dust-up between the packs.

Referee Tony Spreadbury issued a general warning to rival captains Sanderson and Jake Boer before brandishing the yellow card.

Brown's third penalty rounded off a scrappy third quarter, and Gloucester knew they had to lift their performance level in pursuit of a bonus point.

Sigley's try, complete with celebratory dive, made certain of victory, and the closing stages grew increasingly frantic as Gloucester went in search of a bonus point by targeting a fourth touchdown.

But Worcester finished on top territorially, collecting Powell's consolation effort, and the extras were denied a Gloucester side still not firing on all cylinders.

The scorers:

For Gloucester:Tries: Gomarsall, Sigley, KiolePens: Paul 2Cons: Paul2Drop: McRae

For Worcester Warriors:Try: PowellCon: BrownPens: Brown 3

The teams:

Gloucester: 15 Jon Goodridge, 14  Marcel Garvey, 13 Terry Fanolua, 12 Henry Paul, 11 Seti Kiole, 10 Duncan McRae, 9 Andy Gomarsall, 8 Adam Balding, 7 Andy Hazell, 6 Jake Boer (captain), 5 Alex Brown, 4 Peter Buxton, 3 Phil Vickery, 2 Mefin Davies, 1 Terry Sigley.Replacements: (from) James Parkes, Nick Wood, Christo Bezuidenhout, Mark Cornwell, James Forrester, Alex Page, Nathan Mauger, and Mark Foster.

Worcester Warriors: 15 Thinus Delport, 14 Giscard Pieters, 13 Dale Rasmussen, 12 Thomas Lombard, 11 Darren O'Leary, 10 James Brown, 9 Matt Powell, 8 Brad MacLeod-Henderson, 7 Pat Sanderson (captain), 6 Tommy Hickey, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 Tim Collier, 3 Chris Horsman, 2 André van Niekerk, 1 Tony Windo Replacements: 16 Lee Fortey,  17 Chris Hall,  18 Phil Murphy,  19 Neil Mason,  20 Neil Cole,  21 Tommy Hayes,  22 Ben Hinshelwood

Referee: Tony SpreadburyTouch judges: Lloyd Jackson, Steve Savage

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