Mike Tindall completed a fairytale comeback with the try that rounded off a comfortable derby victory for GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP leaders Gloucester.
The England centre was ruled out of the World Cup in August after breaking his leg in April, but returned on schedule to steer his club to what ended being a dominant win over Worcester.
Although the evening kick-off and the unveiling of Kingsholm’s £10million stand, complete with the ball being delivered by the Red Devils parachute team, did not attract a full-house to the old stadium, a record crowd of 15,781 – 1,200 short of capacity – did make the trip.
They endured a scrappy first half in which every yard stolen was two conceded by a knock-on or infringement that afflicted both teams.
Ryan Lamb skewed two penalties from distance after Shane Drahm had done the same at the start of the game, before the young Gloucester fly-half got off the mark from closer in with 33 minutes gone.
By then the home side had simplified their game and taken a hold on proceedings, but still the mistakes proved costly.
The Cherry and White pack, enduring a challenging evening against a formidable Worcester eight, then turned over the scrum only to throw away their advantage with poor ball out to the backs.
But the Warriors struggled to get clear and conceded another penalty 15 metres out and in front of the posts for Lamb to send over.
With Drahm missing a drop-goal attempt, Gloucester took a 6-0 lead into half-time, Lamb adding his third penalty two minutes into the second half after he was caught by a flailing arm from Thinus Delport.
As they battled for territory, the Warriors sent out one pass too many and James Simpson-Daniel pounced.
The England winger gathered up the loose ball 10 metres inside the Gloucester half and turned Delport inside out as he outstripped the backtracking cover to score, with Lamb converting.
Having brought on Gavin Quinnell, it was no surprise when the 22 stone Welshman was handed the ball to power over from a penalty line-out, leaving Drahm to add the two points.
Gloucester’s response came out of the archive, with a catch and drive that had Olivier Azam bundled over and, although Lamb missed the conversion, the win was as good as secure with almost 20 minutes remaining.
Worcester tried to repeat the Quinnell move, but this time they were turned over under the posts and Gloucester never looked back.
They nipped away at the visitors, whose frustrations resulted in a yellow card for their captain Pat Sanderson.
Lamb sent over a drop-goal and then poked through the sweetest of chips that caught out Gloucester old boy Marcel Garvey and gifted Tindall the score.